U.S. business group challenges EPA mercury rule

(Reuters) – The biggest U.S. business lobby group said Monday it has petitioned a federal appeals court to invalidate environmental regulations it claims will lead to sweeping electricity blackouts by forcing coal-fired power plants to close.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said it filed a friend-of-the-court brief with a broader business coalition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Friday to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency‘s “Utility MACT” rule, which aims to reduce emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from coal-fired power plants.

The federal agency’s Mercury Air Toxics Standards are scheduled to take effect in 2015.

The EPA’s opponents said the rule will result in the shutdown, modification and replacement of numerous power plants and will require new gas pipeline and electric transmission infrastructure to be built.

Read more at Reuters. By Valerie Volcovici.

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