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The EPA decision to impose stricter emissions standards for chemicals like mercury would force many older power plants to shut down, drawing the ire of many states suffering from high electricity rates or strained grid capacity.
As of now half of the states in the country have called on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, which is overseeing a court order to implement the new rule, for a delay. At present the EPA has been ordered to finalize the regulation in question, the maximum achievable control technology rule, by November 16.
"In the past, EPA has designed its regulations pretty carefully to make sure that they wouldn't be forcing any facilities to shut down," Jeff Holmstead, the former EPA assistant administrator for air and radiation under President George W. Bush, told Reuters. "But now, it looks like there are senior folks at EPA whose main goal is to shut down as many coal-fired power plants as possible."
Surprisingly, despite the strong push against the regulations from state and congressional Republicans, Reuters reports a new poll found a majority of Republican voters actually responded in favor of the rule.