Mercury Power Plant Rule: EPA is not off the hook yet

CEI’s William Yeatman responded to the DC Circuit’s ruling today on the mercury power plant rule:

“While today’s unfortunate decision keeps the rule in place for now, EPA is not yet off the hook. The agency still must perform a cost benefit analysis on the mercury rule, and this analysis will be subject to judicial review, which will be no cakewalk for the EPA. Before the courts, the agency will have to justify costs of almost $10 billion annually as against “benefits” of about $6 million. These benefits are so miniscule because they are based on a population that almost assuredly doesn’t exist. According to the EPA, the MATS rule is necessary in order to protect a supposed population of pregnant subsistence fisherwomen, who during their pregnancies eat hundreds of pounds of self-caught fish from America’s most polluted bodies of fresh inland water. EPA’s has produced no evidence these voracious pregnant anglers actually exist; rather, they are modeled to exist. I suggest these “victims” don’t exist, and that the putative mercury benefits are much closer to zero. Although the courts afford agencies a great deal of discretion in their decision-making, EPA’s ridiculous cost benefits ratio for the mercury rule will strongly tempt rejection during judicial review.”