Lobbyists for polluting electric utilities in the Midwest and South are working hard to find an ally in Congress who could help them get legislative relief from potentially large fines being threatened as part of a government lawsuit. In response, six senators from the Northeast have issued a public warning that they will fight any efforts to give the utilities a break by attaching a rider to an unrelated bill. Utilities that operate 17 aging, coal-fired power plants are being sued by the EPA, and they face potential fines of up to $27,500 per day for violations of the Clean Air Act that the EPA says have been taking place for years. The utilities warned that without relief, they could potentially be forced to shut down in the next 30 days.