"The senators cited a study by independent non-profit Resources for the Future, which found that power plants using refined coal were not reducing mercury, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide pollution to levels required by the tax credit program. Those pollutants rose sharply at some power plants after they began burning refined coal, the study said. Others showed reductions, but not enough to meet the requirements for taxpayer subsidies, the study said.
"The Washington, D.C. research institution became interested in the tax credit program after the Reuters three-part special report.
"'Using data on actual operations, we find that in practice plants achieve negligible reductions in (sulfur dioxide) emissions, and the reductions in NOx and (mercury) amount to about half (or less) of the reductions required,' according to the nonprofit’s study. 'We find no evidence that any particular plant is achieving the reduction targets required by the tax statute, and significant evidence that on average they are not.'
. . .
"'As the program is currently being run, we feel it is a waste of money,' said Alan Krupnick, a senior fellow at Resources for the Future. He is co-author of the study with Brian Prest, an economist at the nonprofit. 'We were surprised that the standards for proving that you deserve the tax credit did not involve looking at emissions in the field. You could prove it by tests in a laboratory.'"
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