A new electricity market deregulation bill has been introduced in the US Congress that aims to cut greenhouse gas and other toxic emissions. The proposal, introduced in the House of Representatives in November and backed by key environmental groups, would toughen air pollution controls on power plants. Exemptions under the Clean Air Act for older coal fired plants would be ended. The so-called Pallone-Campbell proposal would also provide authority to regulate for the first time emissions such as greenhouse gases and cumulative toxins like mercury. "The bill is the foundation for clean competition in an industry that for too long has imposed excess costs on the country, both economically and environmentally," says David Hawkins of the Natural Resources Defence Council. Current deregulation legislation on the books is being criticised. In a report released in November, the trade group known as the Small Business Survival Committee warns that federal legislation on deregulation will harm small businesses. The group's report advocates state by state legislation instead of federal legislation, which it says would better fit the needs of citizens in each state than the "one size fits all" approach being considered in the US Congress.
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