WASHINGTON, July 19 (UPI) -- U.S. lawmakers trying to block new pollution standards for coal plants from the EPA are getting financial support from the energy industry, Greenpeace said.
The environmental advocacy group Greenpeace said much of the coal industry in the United States hasn't installed technology available on the markets that could cut mercury pollution by 90 percent.
Greenpeace, in a 20-page report, points to a study by the American Lung Association that said coal-fired power plants are the largest air polluters in the United States.
"Particle pollution from power plants is estimated to kill approximately 13,000 people a year," the ALA report states.
The advocacy group said there are 15 members of the U.S. House of Representatives bent on stopping the Environmental Protection Agency from changing standards for pollutants such as mercury, sulfur dioxide and greenhouse gases that are emitted from coal-fired power plants.
The report singles out key leaders from the U.S. House of Representatives, including Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources; and Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who have ties to the energy industry.
Most of the lawmakers named in the report "are in the top 25 percent of those receiving money from the fossil fuel industry," said Greenpeace.
Upton in March said the EPA is made up of "unelected bureaucrats" who are throwing up "roadblocks to domestic energy production."
Others named in the report, which listed 11 Republicans and four Democrats, include House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., a presidential hopeful for 2012. Among the Democrats included were U.S. Reps. Jason Altmire and Mark Critz from Pennsylvania.