A bipartisan group of senators has introduced legislation that would limit emissions of sulfur dioxide, mercury and nitrogen oxide, but not carbon dioxide.
The bill also would set up a cap and trade system for permits for those gases, reports Reuters.
The legislation would apply to power plants and other large emissions sources. It would cut mercury emissions from coal-fired plants 90 percent by 2015, sulfur dioxide 80 percent by 2018 and nitrogen dioxide 53 percent by 2015, reports AFP.
Thomas Carper (D-Del.) introduced the legislation, which was cosponsored by Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).
Carper said that legal challenges have prevented the Environmental Protection Agency from effectively regulating sulfur dioxide, mercury and nitrogen oxide.
His bill would expand the Clean Air Act to mandate reductions of those gases, which cause smog and acid rain.
Alexander opposes CO2 emissions capping, but said that the other gases should be regulated, reports the Tennessean.
Renewable energy advocates criticize the new bill as leaving out the “elephant in the room” that is CO2 emissions.