Ad campaign targets Trump’s mercury rule proposal

Ad campaign targets Trump’s mercury rule proposal
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A new television advertising campaign frames the Trump administration’s plans to change a major mercury regulation as a threat to children and pregnant women.

Moms Clean Air Force, a program of the Environmental Defense Fund, launched the television ads Thursday to push back against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) forthcoming proposal to weaken the justification for its 2012 Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), which regulate coal-fired power plant pollution.

After quoting a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics on the disproportionate impact to children and developing fetuses from mercury pollution, the ad says Trump and EPA chief Andrew Wheeler “Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' ACLU says planned national emergency declaration is 'clear abuse of presidential power' O'Rourke says he'd 'absolutely' take down border wall near El Paso if he could MORE and EPA chief Andrew Wheeler are pushing a plan that will allow more mercury pollution.”

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“Will your member of Congress let it happen,” the ad asks.

It is planned to run for two weeks on television stations in Washington, D.C., as well as Arizona, Minnesota and Ohio. Those three states have a number of closely-watched House and Senate races next month, including races that could decide whether Democrats obtain a majority of seats in the lower chamber.

The EPA announced last week that it would soon propose to change the cost-benefit analysis justification for the mercury rule.

The Obama administration said the rule would cost about $9 billion, with benefits about 10 times that.

But all but about $6 million of the benefits were “co-benefits,” which came from reducing other pollutions, like particulate matter and nitrogen oxides. Wheeler wants to stop counting the co-benefits, which could make the rule more expensive than its benefits and undermine its justification.

The coal industry has already complied with the rule by shutting down plants or upgrading them.