"When this rule goes into effect," Pacenza said, "it's going to reduce the amount of mercury that goes into the air by 40 percent. And mercury is an incredibly dangerous substance. particularly for unborn children."
Jones blamed President Obama for the regulations.
"In this scenario here over air quality," Jones said, "we have one man that's (responsible for the) regulation. That's going to affect this nation on the cost of their energy, the cost of their electricity. And there's people out there that can't afford what we have today."
Eskelsen said the regulations in question originated long before the Obama administration. "We know that these requirements have been coming for a long time," he said. "Exactly when they're implemented has been the subject of some debate, but we've known about them."
The regulations actually date back to 1991, according to Pacenza. "So that is, the presidency of George Bush, senior."
Although the plant shutdown in 2015 now seems more likely than ever, company officials emphasize they have not made a final decision. That's expected to be made next April.
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