Recently, I blogged about EPA’s big mercury lie. In a nutshell, the Agency claims that its ultra-expensive new Mercury and Air Toxics rule is appropriate and necessary in order to protect fetuses from developmental disorders. Yet, according to EPA’s own analysis, the new mercury regulation serves to protect America’s supposed population of pregnant, subsistence fisherwomen, who eat 300 pounds of self-caught fish reeled in exclusively from the most polluted bodies of water. To put it another way, this regulation, which costs $10 billion annually, safeguards a population that doesn’t exist.
Already, this ridiculous regulation is killing jobs. Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp. last Thursday announced that it would retire six coal-fired power plants in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland, in order to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule. According to the company, 530 employees will be affected. While FirstEnergy stressed that some workers would be relocated, it is certain that many will lose their jobs.
In the proposed Mercury and Air Toxics rule, EPA has the gumption to claim that the regulation would be a net job creator (see 76 FR 25076). EPA acknowledges that the mercury rule would eliminate jobs at coal-fired power plants, but the Agency believes that more jobs would be created in the emissions control industry. In light of the purposelessness of the Mercury and Air Toxics rule, EPA’s claim that the regulation is a job creator is like saying that it is good economic policy to blow open a hole in the earth with dynamite and then pay people to fill it back in.