Thursday, December 08, 2011

U.S. Chamber of Commerce goes on the attack against EPA mercury toxic proposal -- but with a poor choice of image!

We are accustomed to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce consistently siding with big polluters against any and all attempts to make them clean up. So this latest Chamber gambit should come as no surprise.

The business lobbying group has joined forces with the equally odious National Association of Manufacturers to launch an 11th hour campaign against the upcoming EPA plan to reduce mercury and other toxic pollutants from coal-fired power plants.

With its usual heavy-handed approach, the Chamber visually portrays the standards as causing a blackout of the Manhattan skyline. This is utterly ludicrous and a dumb choice for an image. New York State has among the toughest emission standards in the nation. It was the state with the first acid rain controls, it has tough in-state standards on NOx, in-state limits on mercury and also is a member of RGGI. The lights have never gone out on Broadway as a result of emission standards.

So why would the Chamber get involved? Could it be because its board of directors includes not only big coal companies Peabody and Consol, but Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers and an executive vice president of Southern Company, which both sent lobbyists to the White House recently to plead the case for looser standards.

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