April 23, 2007
ELI Congressional Briefing:
Will Mercury Cap and Trade Crash and Burn?
On April 23, 2007, ELI held a panel discussion moderated by ELI President Leslie Carothers that examined the state of current airborne mercury regulation. Panelists were distinguished attorneys from environmental organizations, power companies, and private law firms with expertise in mercury emissions issues:
Steven Bonebrake, Partner, Schiff Hardin LLP
Dan Cunningham, Environmental Policy Manager, PSEG Services Corporation
John Walke, Senior Attorney & Director, Clean Air Project, Natural Resources Defense Council
For the past two years, the EPA and states have been in a tug-of-war over how best to regulate mercury emissions from power plants. The federal EPA recently issued the Clean Air Mercury Rule which provides for a mercury emission trading system. Many states are adopting more stringent regulations of their own, threatening to undermine the federal system. Meanwhile, up to 30% of airborne mercury in the US is blown across the Pacific Ocean from Chinese coal-burning power plants. All of these concerns raise important questions for lawmakers.
- Does the current patchwork of laws adequately protect citizens from mercury poisoning?
- Are there gaps in our laws? Duplications?
- How much good can U.S. laws do, when so much of the problem comes from abroad?
- What should be our policy on international standards or programs?
Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR)
Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR)