VIDEOs: President Obama and CAP’s Carol Browner on Final Approval of Mercury and Air Toxics Rule

Today, as EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced the final reduction requirements for mercury and other toxics from power plants, Carol Browner, Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and former director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, released the following statement:

President Barack Obama adopted public health safeguards today that will drastically reduce dangerous emissions of mercury, arsenic, acid gases, and other pollutants from coal-fired power plants. The new safeguards are preventative medicine—they will annually forestall thousands of premature deaths, hospitalizations, and respiratory ailments.

In less than three years, President Obama has reduced harmful air pollution from two major sources: power plants and vehicles. Cleaning up toxic and cross-state air pollution from dirty power plants will save 45,000 lives every year, or prevent nearly five deaths every hour. And modernizing vehicle fuel economy standards will slash carbon dioxide pollution and reduce oil use by more than 2 million barrels per day.

Both initiatives will put tens of thousands of Americans to work inventing, manufacturing, and installing modern pollution-control technologies.

The support for the new toxics reduction rules by some major utilities demonstrate that the standards are readily achievable and affordable, and pose little threat to our electricity system.

In the following “Ask the Expert” video, Browner answers two questions:

What are the public health benefits of these new mercury standards? Can coal-fired power plants meet the new standards without harm? How do the president’s actions on reducing air pollution compare to recent administrations?

4 Responses to VIDEOs: President Obama and CAP’s Carol Browner on Final Approval of Mercury and Air Toxics Rule

  1. Raul M. says:

    It’s probably silly to think that a fuel cell could be developed to run off the air in some regions of the Arctic and provide electric power as well. There are ones that run on natural gas.

  2. Chris says:

    That explains Rick Perry

  3. Question says:

    Good job Obama and the EPA! … doing what two decades of administrations (both Democratic and Republican) couldn’t.
    Now kill Keystone XL and move on to direct regulations of carbon.

    We need to do our part to keep the pressure on.

  4. R Shamel says:

    Nice work and nice video message, O leader.

    Now let’s move on to preserving a livable climate for ourselves and the kids, eh?

    For starters, President Obama, please instruct your speech writers to include a sizable commentary on global warming in your upcoming State of the Union address. You should inform Americans that climate change is real, serious, demanding of our prompt attention, and the biggest job-building opportunity that this country has ever seen.

    You should also remind the folks in WDC who don’t understand this (because of the money they get to not understand it), that our country became a world leader because we paid attention to science. Conversely, we will become nothing if we continue to turn our backs on science, of which global warming is clearly an important part.

    And dear readers of CP, if care about our climate, please support this idea in whatever way you see fit. Options include calling the president at 202-456-1111, or writing a comment at, or sending a letter, or a fax, or clicking ‘like’ at

    One way or another, let your voices be heard. Otherwise you’ll sadly have to admit that you deserve what you get (and we don’t want that)!

    Warm holiday regards,