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Portman, Brown Defend Votes On EPA Standards

Both of Ohio’s U.S. Senators are defending their votes on a recent challenge to new federal clear air standards. A resolution in the Senate looked to reverse new standards from the Environmental Protection Agency meant to limit heavy metals like mercury and arsenic. It failed by a vote of 53-47 mainly along party lines. Republican Rob Portman voted for the measure, saying it will choke Ohio industry. He points to a power plant in Avon Lake scheduled to close in 2015. “And this will cost the school system 11 percent of its budget annually. It will obviously cost some jobs. There are 80 jobs at the plant that are relatively high-paid, good jobs in Ohio. And then a lot of indirect jobs lost in the community.â€? Most Democratcs, including Ohio’s senior U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, called the vote a victory for health and clear air.