This bill eases emission limits for hazardous air pollutants from electric utility steam generating units (electric power plants) that convert coal refuse into energy. The Environmental Protection Agency must allow utilities to select a standard for either hydrogen chloride or sulfur dioxide with which to comply from a list of specified standards.
Why Jason Lewis’ vote is against our values
“We oppose H.R. 1119 and the legislative remedy offered by this bill. It comes as no surprise that the majority is once again offering legislation to undermine CAA regulations to benefit coal-fired power plants at the expense of public health. What is surprising is that the SENSE Act puts major coal-fired plants at a disadvantage relative to waste coal plants by granting them unnecessary and unwarranted regulatory relief. All of this is being done for no other reason than to benefit approximately 20 waste coal plants that exist in a handful of states. While these plants address one of coal’s major legacy problems–dangerous, polluting piles of coal mine tailings from abandoned coal mining operations–cleanup of these piles can and should be done without undue transfer of mercury, SO2 and other pollutants from the land to the air. None of this is necessary. There are waste coal plants that meet the MATS requirements today, and there is technology available to enable waste coal plants to comply with the requirements of this rule. There is no justification for treating them differently from other coal-fired generation facilities. For the reasons stated above, we dissent from the views contained in the Committee’s report.” (Source: Dissenting Views, House Report 115-514, Committee on Energy and Commerce)
“On behalf of our millions of members, the undersigned organizations urge you to oppose the amended Satisfying Energy Needs and Saving the Environment Act, or SENSE Act (H.R. 1119). This bill would weaken health safeguards for Americans on behalf of special interest groups and result in more toxic air pollution and health hazards. The SENSE Act would provide a giveaway to power plants that burn waste coal under EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). The bill favors waste coal-burning power plants at the expense of other in-state coal power plants and the public through blunt political favoritism. Specifically, the SENSE Act would permanently exempt power plants that burn waste coal from having to meet certain pollution limits. Power plants, including waste coal plants, are already meeting these standards – passing this bill would be a free giveaway to polluters, and nothing more.” (Source: Letter from the Natural Resources Defense Council)