What effect does EPA's series of Clean Air Act rules have on the energy and environment landscape?
The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce draft rules this week aimed at slashing toxic air pollution emitted by power plants. The rules, known as the Maximum Achievable Control Technology, or MACT, utility regulations, are some of the most controversial rules coming out of EPA, a list that includes the always politically loaded carbon-emissions rules. The issuance will come in the wake of the agency announcing similar regulations for industrial boilers and certain incinerators. These rules are among several that EPA is rolling out now or in the near future under its Clean Air Act authority.
What effect will these MACT utility regulations have on the power sector? Taken together, how do EPA's various clean-air rules change the industry and protect the environment? What are the trade-offs that Congress and President Obama should consider?