Friday, March 31, 2023


Donald Trump indicted by Manhattan grand jury, Georgia campaign fights to reopen local hospitals, and New Mexico creates first-ever $100M conservation fund.


Former President Donald Trump is indicted by Manhattan's district attorney, House Republicans take aim at renewables in new energy bill and House Dems introduce the Women's Protection Health Act.


Small towns respond to a hidden housing and homelessness crisis, a new national weather prediction system will help close the gap between urban and rural forecasting, and more rural communities are eligible for a design project to boost economic development.

Economists Fault EPA Mercury Rule Proposal


Thursday, December 5, 2019   

NEW YORK – A new report says the Trump administration's proposal to weaken rules for emissions of mercury and other toxic substances is based on a faulty economic analysis.

The report, from the External Environmental Economics Advisory Committee, says the cost-benefit analysis used to justify the rule change is based on outdated data, didn't use the best available science and underestimates the benefits of the current rule while overestimating its costs.

According to report coauthor Joe Aldy, a professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, the analysis ignores the public health benefits associated with cutting mercury emissions such as reducing the risk of heart attacks.

"Some of this recent research suggests that the impact there may be on the order of billions of dollars a year in terms of the public health benefits of reducing those heart attacks if we reduce people's exposure to mercury," he points out.

The EPA's analysis says the Obama-era rule only saves about $6 million a year. The agency is expected to issue a final rule by the end of this year.

Aldy points out that one reason the EPA's estimate of health benefits from the mercury rule is so low is that it eliminates the effect of reduced particulate and sulfur dioxide emissions, which are reduced when mercury emissions are cut.

"That's a large category of benefits that's estimated by EPA in their initial analysis in 2011 of up to $90 billion of public health benefits per year," he states.

The EPA says it is not doing away with the mercury rule, but the Trump administration is expected to overturn the finding that regulating power plant emissions is "appropriate and necessary."

Aldy notes that throwing out that finding would eliminate the legal basis for having the rule at all.

"Doing so creates potentially some legal risk and begs the question if these regulations are no longer justified, according to EPA, it's hard to continue them as compliance obligations on coal-fired power plants across the country," he states.

Aldy adds that even power plant operators who have invested in equipment to reduce mercury emissions are opposed to weakening the mercury rule.

get more stories like this via email

Parents, students and teachers are raising concerns over proposed education policies in the Sunshine State. (Pixabay)

Social Issues

Some students, parents and educators plan to rally to send a message to Gov. Ron DeSantis on April Fools' Day. The group of unions, parents and …

Health and Wellness

Small-business owners in North Carolina are reaching out to legislators for help, citing hospital mergers as one reason their health-care costs are …



Initial money through the American Rescue Plan Act provided education funding to 140 school districts in Tennessee to support post-pandemic academic recovery, student mental health and schools' ability to reopen safely. (f11photo/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Tennesseans aren't the only ones mourning the tragic loss of three children and three adults at this week's shooting at Nashville's Covenant School…

Health and Wellness

Doctors in Iowa are studying the brains of babies to learn more about sleep patterns in adults and teens. The United Health Foundation reports one-…

While more than 3,500 people have been awarded the Medal of Honor since it was created by President Abraham Lincoln, only 65 of them are alive today. (The White House)

Social Issues

While National Medal of Honor Month is ending, plans to develop a museum and monument for the award are continuing. Numerous Medal of Honor …

Social Issues

Construction of the Medal of Honor Museum and Foundation is under way in Arlington, Texas - a place to pay tribute to those who've earned the …

Social Issues

Labor leaders in various industries recently celebrated the 85th anniversary of a federal law that laid the groundwork for registered apprenticeship p…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021