The new rule replaces the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) of
2005, whose mandates, a federal court ruled in 2008, were not sufficient for protecting communities
from pollution originating in other states.
EPA estimates that by requiring significant
reductions in sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions that cross state lines, the
rule will result in $120 to $280 billion in annual health and environmental benefits in 2014. The
savings, EPA asserts, outweigh the estimated annual costs, which are expected to be $800 million in
2014 as well as $1.6 billion per year in capital investments already underway.
the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), an industry lobbying group, disputed
EPA's estimates. It argued that the rule, along with a proposed second rule regulating mercury and
other air toxins, will lead to the loss of four jobs for every one created, increase electricity
rates by over 23%, and $8 billion per year in higher natural gas prices.
In 2009, a
lobbying firm hired by ACCCE sent 13 forged letters, purporting to be from the NAACP and several
community-based organizations, to three members of the House of Representatives in advance of a
vote on the Waxman-Markey climate change bill. That same year, Duke Energy and Alstom Power left
ACCCE, citing the lobbying group's opposition to climate change legislation as a reason.
According to a recently published white paper by
As You Sow, 153 new coal plant proposals
have been abandoned during the past five years, as the availability and low cost of natural gas has
made the cleaner-burning source more appealing to companies and investors. In 2010, As You Sow
found, the coal industry lost 10% of its overall asset value.
Mindy Lubber, president of
Ceres, said of the legislation, "These
investments will create nearly 1.5 million jobs—an average of 300,000 jobs each year over the next