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Who is fighting regulation of mercury?
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 4671

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:57 pm    Post subject: Who is fighting regulation of mercury? Reply with quote

More than twenty years after the first President Bush signed legislation that required regulation of toxics in the air, EPA finalized regulations for limiting mercury last December. When they issued those regulations, EPA estimated that the regulations would cost $11 billion—and generate economic benefits of between $53 and $140 billion.

Mercury is a powerful neurotoxin, particularly dangerous to fetuses, young children and pregnant women. The ability of mercury to reach humans through the marine food chain was demonstrated by the tragedy of Minamata, Japan, where waste discharged into marine waters damaged the health of the entire community, and earned the name “the disease of the dancing cats.” The Obama administration estimates that the regulations will save 11,000 premature deaths. The ruling is opposed by the utilities who burn coal, cement manufacturers and their lobbying group the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, but the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service found that many of their arguments were overstated. And of course, Republicans in Congress.

Mercury is present in many marine and lake systems at levels too high for fish to be safely consumed. Testing of mercury in human hair by the University of North Carolina-Asheville showed that 1 women out of 5 of childbearing age has mercury levels above those recommended by EPA. Twelve states have issued regulations limiting mercury. In California there are complicated programs in place to try to limit the levels of mercury. But conservatives seem to oppose any such regulation.

I have challenged the conservatives on this forum to explain why they oppose regulations based on human health. No response. It is a mystery to me that those who want to protect 12 hour old fertilized eggs from the morning after pill have no interest in protecting viable fetuses from mercury. Isn't there a junk science web site out there, staffed by disgraced scientists from the cigarette industry, that will explain how combining mercury and DDT will help us all live forever? Come on boys, man up and tell us how many deaths are ok.
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pueno



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 2365

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Who is fighting regulation of mercury? Reply with quote

mac wrote:
Isn't there a junk science web site out there, staffed by disgraced scientists from the cigarette industry, that will explain how combining mercury and DDT will help us all live forever? Come on boys, man up and tell us how many deaths are ok.

Mr. Fick, the resident, experienced, and highly credentialed (just ask him) scientist can no doubt cite multiple sources that explain why mercury is good with your Wheaties and DDT is a marvelous toothpaste ingredient.

I wonder if Iso read Carson's "Silent Spring"?

Oh, wait. No, he wouldn't waste his time on that leftie propaganda.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13309

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Who is fighting regulation of mercury?"
No one, as soon as Obama's condom mandate goes into effect, because he's paying for that by canceling FDA oversight of food safety. WSJ.
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1362

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, I am not fighting mercury regulations.

On the other hand, anyone over 60 no doubt played with the stuff when they were kids. We all looked forward to a broken mercury thermometer so we could shove it around, try to pick it up, coat silver coins so they would be slick and shiny. I don't recall eating the stuff, but there was no apparent consequences from having it on your hands. We didn't know better, but the hazard, if any wasn't apparent. I am sure my childhood home still has some of it stuck between the hardwood floor boards.

Now if you break a fluorescent bulb, you have to gear up in a bio-hazard suit to clean it up. Over the years, I probably have cleaned up a 100 or more broken fluorescent bulbs without any protection and survived to tell about it. Of course, my lack of hair may be a result, or not. Yes, mercury is not good to play with and can have some nasty consequences, but as usual, to cover every one's butt, regulations treat it as if we were playing on the beach at Fukushima.

I am not fighting against all of the regulations because I understand the mind set of "big brother" and am somewhat OK with what they are doing. I just choose not to abide with many of their their suggestions.

I should also add that this is not a liberal vs conservative issue with me.

At the moment, I am not able to come up with any regulations that I would eliminate, but with some in depth investigation, I am guessing that I would recommend modifying many of them to be less restrictive. Most begin with sound logic and concern, but with everything the government bureaucracy gets its hands on, it gets way overdone. Just an opinion. How many pages are there in the Obama care plan?
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1849

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just an opinion...but sometimes the hardest regulations to follow are those that don't say enough and leave too much interpretation to the enforcement agency.

BTW...the Health Care Law is 2700 pages, large font, double spaced. You could read it in less time than the typical paperback mystery novel. IMO, it could be MORE detailed.

Now, back to mercury emissions...
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13309

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coboardhead wrote:
Just an opinion...but sometimes the hardest regulations to follow are those that don't say enough and leave too much interpretation to the enforcement agency..

If enforcers would err on the side of sanity instead of insanity, wiggle room is commendable. The widespread and incredible abuses of eminent domain and the definition of "wetlands" and are excellent examples.
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stevenbard



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 3625

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those of you who've smoked a little too much marijuana, you may have mercury (in pot) to blame for your left leaning persona. However Mac, I still can't get over how many subjects you attack. But like Diana, who championed removal of land mines, this is just one of those things that everyone agrees on. Mercury bad. Organic good.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13309

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was working for a NASA contractor among a gaggle of chemistry PhDs, one of the lab techs spilled a dab of mercury on his lab coat. We had to shut that room down, call Hazmat, douse him heavily with some powder that absorbs mercury, and send him to the hospital for observation.

That was in 1964.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1849

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevenbard

You complain constantly about overregulation with no specifics. So this is a "good" regulation? What are some of the bad ones that get you so fired up? This regulation is long overdue. This is partly because folks that complain about regulations in general (with no specifics) help to feed corporate interests in fighting the regulations. Look no further than Bush's DOE policy of downplaying the contributions of power plants in mercury pollution.

If you feel strongly about a particular regulation, become educated on it and attend some public meetings and change it. A blanket condemnation of regulations does nothing but distract from real progress.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 4671

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

techno and stevenbard. I'm glad that you aren't willing to sacrifice children's health on the altar of mammon; not all of the conservatives on the forum or running for office seem to share that view. I think it is important to remember the intellectual underpinnings of regulation in an economy that is dominated by market forces. If the companies buying and selling goods can reduce their costs or increase their profit by transfering costs to the public in the form of damage to health or resources, they will. Regulation is intended to prevent that. Of course it must be reasonable, and CB's comment is exactly the point. Getting involved, understanding the science, and doing your homework is the key. I still do that. When I worked for an organization that was regulated, I didn't try to fight the regulations or complain about the underlying laws. I tried to figure out the most cost-effective approach. I never had one turned down. Not once. Now I work on boards trying to make regulations more efficient. Those who slaver about the underlying laws, and use sources like "junk science" have trouble in that arena because they have no credibility.

Looks like your boy Santorum is one of those making money from the coal companies, not entirely surprising since he comes from Pennsylvania. Here from Source Watch:

Quote:
Rick Santorum said he helped a local company fight government regulations on greenhouse gas emissions: "My grandfather was a coal miner. So I contacted a local coal company from my area. I said, look, I want to join you in that fight." The local company, according to Mother Jones, was Consol Energy, and Santorum was paid $142,500 from 2010 to August 2011 for his counseling work. Before that, Consol donated more than $73,800 to Santorum during his time as a legislator. In 2006, Santorum authored a provision for a tax bill that would have created a tax credit for synfuel, which included coalbed methane, of which Consol is a "leading producer" of the product. Former Santorum staffers Tommy Johnson and Kevin Roy became lobbyists for Consol after he lost his Senate seat.[1]


You can find out where the money is coming from by checking out opensecrets.org. Kind of a who’s who in energy, financial services, and health care. Money from Consol, an coal company in Philadelphia, Sunoco, another oil and gas company, Exelon, an electrical utility, Blue Cross, Bear Stearns, Mellon Financial. The increased activity by Exelon illustrates the stakes on regulations of particulate matter and mercury. That company increased its contributions through PAC’s from under $200,000 in 1990 to more than $1.5 million in every election cycle from 2002 on.
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