The Maximum Achievable Control Technology rule, dubbed Utility MACT, which would be among the most expensive agency actions in history, conveniently ignores the environmental gains already made by coal plants over the past several decades. According to the Energy Information Administration, sulfur-dioxide emissions from coal plants declined more than 60 percent over the past 20 years and nitrogen-oxide emissions declined by three-fourths over that time.He doesn't even mention why emissions fell so sharply: the acid rain cap-and-trade program instituted (by George H.W. Bush) after passage of the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments -- which, of course, the coal industry fought tooth-and-nail.
Watts is a former Congressman from Oklahoma and (naturally) "has represented energy interests in his role as a lobbyist.a lobbyist for energy companies."
An effort to water down the Utility MACT rules did not pass in the Senate last week. And this isn't the first time an anti-environmentalist has touted the SO2 reductions without revealing why that happened.
A 2001 study by the EPA found that, while job losses in the coal industry were (in 1990) predicted to be 13,000 to 16,000, the actual number was 4,100.