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Senate rejects GOP bid to lift EPA coal plant regulations

June 23, 2012

Senate Democrats blocked a Republican-backed move Wednesday to scrap EPA regulations on mercury and toxic chemical emissions from coal power plants, not swayed by the contention that the rules are killing jobs, not saving lives.

Opponents of the measure said the regulations were needed because of the hundreds of thousands of Americans made ill by toxic chemicals spewed by coal-fired plants.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the rules will prevent 11,000 premature deaths a year.

Environmental groups praised the regulations when they were announced in December as a historic step that was more than two decades in the making.

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