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Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow

The EPA Grinch stuffs America's stocking with costly mercury regulations


Every person in America liked electricity a lot,
But the Grinch at the EPA - did not.
The Grinch hated electricity, all the prosperity it brought.

Now, please do ask why, we quite know the reason!

EPA subscribes to a Green worldview,
One that puts nature above me and you!


This afternoon EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson released a barrage of new rules called "Mercury and Air Toxics Standards" that will do nothing to protect human health while raising electricity prices and costing the economy billions of dollars. She pulled out all the propaganda stops, holding the press conference at a children's hospital and inviting a pastor from the ultra-liberal Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) to sing its praises.

Lisa Jackson has exposed her inner Grinch this Christmas season by giving every American family a costly present -- and she expects them to pay for it! The higher electricity prices caused by these regulations will drive up energy bills and eliminate jobs across the nation.

The mercury regulations, like the Grinch's heart, are also "two sizes too small" (and are arguably many sizes more too small!), being twice as restrictive as Canadian and World Health Organization mercury standards. The EPA has ignored science and violated a fundamental principal of toxicology, "the dose makes the poison." Even if the prescription was right, however, U.S. coal power plants produce only 0.5% of the mercury in America's air, so the new regulations are effectively pointless.

Read, below, CFACT Executive Director Craig Rucker's National Journal article on the topic for a more detailed analysis.

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No benefits, extensive harm

By Craig Rucker

EPA mercury rules for electricity generating units are based on false science and economics

The Environmental Protection Agency clams its “final proposed” Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) rules will eliminate nearly all toxic pollution from electrical generating units, bring over $60 billion in annual health benefits, and prevent thousands of premature deaths yearly – all for “only” $11 billion a year in compliance costs.

All of this may be true in the virtual reality of EPA computer models, linear extrapolations, cherry-picked health studies and statistics, government press releases and agency-generated public comments. However, in the real world inhabited by families, employers and other energy users, the new rules will bring few benefits, but will impose extensive costs that the agency chose to minimize or ignore in its analysis.

Emissions of mercury and other air toxics from power plants have been declining steadily for decades, as older generating units have been replaced with more efficient, less polluting systems or been retrofitted with better pollution control technologies. While a few older plants still violate EPA’s proposed rules –the new rules are simply not based on credible scientific and epidemiological studies.

As independent natural scientist Dr. Willie Soon and CFACT policy advisor Paul Driessen pointed out in their Wall Street Journal and Investor's Business Daily articles, and in Dr. Soon’s 85-page critique of EPA’s draft rules, U.S. power plants account for only 0.5% of the mercury in US air. Thus, even if EPA’s new rules eventually do eliminate 90% of mercury from power plant emission streams, that’s still only 90% of 0.5% – almost zero. The rest of the mercury in US air comes from natural and foreign sources, such as forest fires, Chinese power plants and the cremation of human remains (from tooth fillings that contain mercury and silver).

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