Letter: Ayotte’s sensible conservation decision
A bill in Congress has the attention of officials from the coal industry because it protects them. Sen. Kelly Ayotte will not co-sponsor this bill; she’s made the right decision for New Hampshire.
The Whitfield/Manchin bill, authored by coal-state legislators, would block the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing safeguards to protect the public from carbon pollution. These coal-friendly legislators think the EPA’s actions will negatively impact electricity consumers, the economy and the coal industry; their concern is misplaced.
First, there is renewed competition among diverse energy resources to supply affordable, reliable and cleaner electricity; competition will be enhanced through EPA guidelines and benefit consumers and the economy.
Second, coal-fired electric plants produce one third of total greenhouse gas emissions in America.
The EPA’s proposed regulations will allow for the continued use of coal (and natural gas) as part of the nation’s energy supply, yet at the same time address pollutants known to threaten the public health of adults and children and future generations.
In 2012, Ayotte protected the EPA’s authority to safeguard New Hampshire against mercury pollution from power plants. By refusing to co-sponsor the proposed Whitfield/Manchin legislation, she is signaling her efforts to safeguard downwind New Hampshire against carbon pollution.
(The writer represents the Union of Concerned Scientists.)