Press Release: EPA wrong on mercury

C F A C T
Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                 CONTACT:
March 26, 2011                                                                                Craig Rucker, 202-429-2737

EPA Wrong on Mercury

(Washington, D.C.) On May 3rd the Environmental Protection Agency proposed unaffordable and burdensome restrictions on electricity generation that will pick the pockets of ratepayers, yet provide no meaningful benefit to our environment.

The EPA claims its rules seeking to regulate mercury emissions pursuant to the Clean Air Act will provide “tremendous benefits for public health,” however, the facts do not support this claim.

American electricity generation does not emit a significant portion of the mercury in our environment.

Our power plants “emit an estimated 41-48 tons of mercury per year. But U.S. forest fires emit at least 44 tons per year; cremation of human remains discharges 26 tons; Chinese power plants eject 400 tons; and volcanoes, subsea vents, geysers and other sources spew out 9,000-10,000 additional tons per year,” wrote Harvard’s Willie Soon and CFACT’s Paul Driessen in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece yesterday. “All these emissions enter the global atmospheric system and become part of the U.S. air mass. Since our power plants account for less than 0.5% of all the mercury in the air we breathe, eliminating every milligram of it will do nothing about the other 99.5% in our atmosphere.”

“Generating affordable, abundant electricity is one way in which the U.S. can use our technological and industrial prowess and domestic natural resources to make our industry competitive in the world,” said CFACT Executive Director Craig Rucker. “Yet our government leaves no stone unturned in the pursuit of wasteful requirements that price our workers out of the global marketplace. Electricity generates jobs. EPA is using mercury as a bogey man to scare us into restrictions on hydrocarbons they know the public won’t support in the name of global warming.”

At the same time that EPA is waging war against mercury from power plants, it is encouraging introduction of mercury directly into American homes as it administers legislation restricting incandescent light bulbs and encouraging a transition to compact fluorescent bulbs which contain mercury.

“EPA has become the favorite tool for pushing extreme agendas into public policy,” Rucker said. “In the past, Americans, who don’t relinquish their freedoms lightly, have been willing to accept many restrictions in order to protect our environment. EPA is abusing an important trust. The mercury scare is but the latest example of overreach by EPA. This undermines public trust thereby placing genuine environmental safeguards in jeopardy.”

CFACT is launching a national campaign to call attention to inaccuracies, excesses and waste at EPA which seeks to return this important agency to its legitimate role as a realistic, constructive watchdog for the environment.

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