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Eric Lipton @EricLiptonNYT
, 6 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
PART III: How Much Is Clean Air Worth To YOU? Scene: HOUSTON, Tx. The Obama EPA moved in Dec. 2016 to mandate that nine coal-burning power plants install so-called scrubbers to make a MASSIVE cut in SULFUR DIOXIDE pollution. WHY? Tx power plants emit more SO2 than anywhere in US
The move by the EPA was under the so-called REGIONAL HAZE rule, that dates back to 1999 and is intended to help cut haze that mars the air in national parks and wilderness areas nationwide. THIS IS WHAT HAZE LOOKS LIKE.
Obama EPA concluded that Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) upgrades at these nine plants would eliminate 190,000 tons a year of SO2=or more than any other state produces, except Texas. Here is description of that plan.
But utility companies and state of Texas objected. Called the Obama plan too demanding, too expensive, unnecessary, as SO2 emissions already in decline in Texas. National Mining Association (coal mining industry) objected too, saying this would force the shutdown of coal plants
SO WHAT DOES TRUMP EPA DO? It rejects the Obama-era plan. Essentially says don't need to upgrade air pollution controls, meaning six surviving coal plants in Texas no longer will have to install scrubbers. Instead, it sets an overall cap for S02 in Tx that is higher than current
What does this mean in plan English? Here's estimate of annual illnesses that will continue to occur in TX & surrounding states, according to George Thurston, Director of the Program in Exposure Assessment & Human Health Effects at NYU School of Medicine. In short: more bad stuff
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