Dear Senator:

On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of our organizations, we urge you to VOTE YES on the Inhofe Resolution, S.J. Res. 37, to overturn the so-called Mercury and Air Toxics Standard, better known as the Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology (Utility MACT) rule.

Utility MACT is the most expensive environmental regulation in history, will increase electricity and natural gas prices (hitting low-income households hardest), and will put tens of thousands of Americans out of work.

It is a failed solution to a nonexistent problem. In the 22 years since the Clean Air Act tasked the EPA to study the health risk of mercury emissions from power plants, the EPA has not identified a single child whose learning or other disabilities can be traced to prenatal mercury exposure. The EPA estimates that the required mercury emission reductions will produce $0.5 million to $6 million in annual health benefits. This estimate rests on a chain of questionable and even unrealistic assumptions. But even if it were correct, the estimated compliance costs would exceed the benefits of reducing mercury and other “toxic” emissions by a ratio of 1,600 to one or even 19,200 to one.

Moreover, Utility MACT is part of an attempt to circumvent Congress and advance the same extreme anti-energy agenda that Congress and the American people already rejected when it was offered by President Obama as cap-and-trade.

In 2008, Barack Obama explained his energy policy like this: “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad.” He went on to explain:

“So, if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can — it’s just that it will bankrupt them.”

The day after the 2010 election, Obama said: “Cap and trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way. It was a means, not an end.”

The Obama administration is now apparently pursuing the same end of bankrupting coal and causing electricity prices to skyrocket via regulatory means, and Utility MACT (which the EPA’s own low-ball estimate indicates will cost over $10 billion per year) is a key element of that effort.

CNN recently reported that over 90 percent of utility industry executives believe the costs of Utility MACT and related regulations will be passed on to retail customers, and more than half predict the price increases will be significant.

Combined with the pending greenhouse gas new source performance standards, Utility MACT could cripple all coal-fired power plants with costs running into the hundreds of billions.

We urge you to take your responsibility as a United States Senator seriously and to stop the effort to usurp legislative power and make electricity prices skyrocket via the Utility MACT rule.

We urge you to VOTE YES on S.J. Res. 37.


Jim Martin, Chairman, 60 Plus Association

Phil Kerpen, President, American Commitment

Larry Hart, Director of Government Relations, American Conservative Union

Gary Bauer, President, American Values

James Valvo, Director of Policy, Americans for Prosperity

Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform

Jeffrey Mazzella, President, Center for Individual Freedom

Chris Chocola, President, Club for Growth

Matthew J. Brouillette, President & CEO, Commonwealth Foundation

Marlo Lewis, Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Ron Pearson, President, Council for America

Tom Schatz, President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Steven J. Law, President, Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies

Myron Ebell, President, Freedom Action

Wayne Brough, Chief Economist and VP for Research, FreedomWorks

George Landrith, President, Frontiers of Freedom

Michael A. Needham, Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Action for America

Andrew Langer, President, Institute for Liberty

Seton Motley, President, Less Government

Colin A. Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring

Richard W. C. Falknor, Chairman, Maryland Center-Right Coalition

Ben Cunningham, President, Nashville Tea Party

Amy Ridenour, Chairman, National Center for Public Policy Research

Tom Zawistowski, President, Ohio Liberty Coalition

Eli Lehrer, President, R Street

David Williams, President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

C. Preston Noell III, President, Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

Carl Bearden, Executive Director, United for Missouri

Morton Blackwell, Chairman, The Weyrich Lunch

Featured Publications