New York, LA, Houston mayors back EPA coal rule ahead of Senate vote

Mayors representing the nation’s largest cities are voicing support for recent Environmental Protection Agncy regulations to curb toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants, comments that arrive ahead of an upcoming Senate vote on a proposal to scuttle the rule.

“Mayors are on the front lines of protecting public health and this long overdue safeguard will reap tremendous benefits for our communities,” states a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson from roughly 90 mayors representing cities large and small.

Among the signers: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who are all Democrats.

The letter is also signed by the mayors of Boston, Seattle, Portland, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Denver and a number of other cities. The municipal officials are backing emissions rules that EPA finalized late last year that require curbs in mercury and other air toxics.

The Senate is slated to vote in coming days on Sen. James Inhofe’s (R-Okla.) plan to overturn the rule. Many Republicans and industry groups say the rule will drive up power costs and harm the economy.

Inhofe and other critics call it part of a “war on coal.”

“It’s time for the Senate to do its job and stop this regulatory nightmare,” Inhofe said when introducing his plan in February.



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