Thursday, July 09, 2009

GAO: mercury from power plants can be controlled -- and very cheaply

In his oral testimony this morning to a Senate subcommittee, GAO’s John Stephenson reported that “at least 90% reduction” of mercury “appears achievable and affordable at most power plants.”

His formal testimony is here: http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Testimony&Hearing_ID=3cbea978-802a-23ad-49c8-900366f93da1&Witness_ID=bf2b89cf-e8a2-4601-a781-ef4239581850

Stephenson noted that for the vast majority of power plants, the cleanup could be done at a cost as little as a dime a month extra on a consumer's electricity bill.

This GAO analysis is powerful evidence that the EPA should set tough requirements to limit mercury pollution from every power plant.

Meanwhile, give credit to state environmental agencies, which pushed ahead with mercury controls while the Bush administration was busy cutting deals with the coal-burning power industry.

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