Wednesday, March 23, 2005

President Bush Can't Swim

If President Bush walked on water, the headlines would read that he can't swim. The Clean Air Mercury Rule is a case in point. It is the first time in the history of America that mercury from power plants has been regulated and mainstream environmental groups act like the president is poisoning pregnant women.

The new EPA rule is intended to cut emissions to 38 tons, a 21 percent reduction from 1999 levels(48 tons), in 2010 and to 15 tons, or about a 69 percent reduction, in 2018. Under the rule, some utilities will be able to buy allowances rather than cleaning up emissions.

A significant portion of this mercury comes from power plants. It also comes from incinerators.. Much airborne mercury deposited in the United States also originates abroad, and most of the mercury-laden fish consumed by Americans as fish sticks or fish fillets is imported. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin.

From 1990 to 1999, total airborne emissions of mercury in the United States dropped from 209.6 tons to 113.2 tons, roughly 5 percent of worldwide manmade emissions. Mercury emissions from power plants are responsible for about 48 of the 113 tons.

Controlling fish consumption of certain types of fish, particularly for pregnant women and children, is the only realistic short term approach for protecting oneself against mercury contamination.


Anonymous said...

Excellent post! I wish more people thought like you!

Kelly L Taylor said...

This piece crafts a fine point. Is it true that the wished-for mercury standards by those decrying this bill as nowhere-near-enough are beyond current technological capability? Are there reference links available one way or the other?