President Bush Loves Heavy Metals: Dances to the Beat of the Polluters!
Bald Eagle with Lead Poisoning
President Bush has not been good for the environment.
Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy explained:
When Bush ran for president in 2000, he made a commitment to multipollutant legislation, Smith pointed out. The four specific pollutants Bush promised to target were nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, mercury and carbon dioxide.Mercury, a neuro-toxin is tolerated and now ten states are suing our own federal government to reduce Mercury pollution and protect children and pregnant mothers from serious harm. What is happening in America when States have to sue the Federal Government to make sure the Environmental Protection Agency protects the environment? What is wrong with this picture?
But within two months of being elected, Bush pulled out of the international Kyoto Agreement on global warming, an agreement that required reductions in carbon dioxide.
Then Bush negated a Clinton administration rule that utilities had to reduce mercury output by 90 percent when he agreed to let utilities only reduce mercury by the amounts filtered out through nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide ``scrubbers,'' Smith said.
Such scrubbers only reduce mercury by around 50-60 percent, he said.
``By the time Bush proposed Clear Skies, he had pulled carbon dioxide out of the equation and reduced mercury controls,'' Smith said.
``To add insult to injury, he went to the states that were suing other states for pollution drifting across state lines and said you can't do that.''
Just when you think it can't get any worse, now comes the lead pollution story!
Apparently this President has something for heavy metals.
According to a Los Angeles Times story:
The Environmental Protection Agency has quietly delayed work on completing required rules to protect children and construction workers from exposure to lead-based paint, exploring instead the possibility of using voluntary standards to govern building renovations and remodeling.The spin begins. As an EPA spokesman, Eryn Witcher, stated:
the agency had not abandoned the possibility of issuing mandatory regulations, and that it was simply exploring alternatives that might be more effective, as well as less costly to industry and the public.The story provides a little background on lead toxicity and its origins:
Lead-paint exposure threatens about 1.4 million children a year, according to the EPA. In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that about 434,000 children had dangerous levels of lead in their blood, and said that minority children had been disproportionately affected.But who cares about developmental delay, loss of I.Q., behavioral problems and the like if there is a cost to small businesses? Apparently not this administration.
Lead poisoning is linked primarily to exposure to lead paint and lead-contaminated dust, often created during home remodeling. Lead exposure is especially dangerous to infants and toddlers, and has been linked to developmental disabilities and behavioral problems.
EPA officials emphasize that they are concerned about lead exposure and its effect on children. They also point to an internal study showing that the cost of the regulations — $1.7 billion to $3.1 billion annually — could be an overwhelming burden for the mostly small businesses that renovate buildings.But the EPA's own estimates show even greater monetary benefit than that cost!
However, an agency estimate showed that such rules would provide health benefits of greater value, from $2.7 billion to $4.2 billion annually.Are you feeling sick yet? Does this Administration have no sense of decency? Does it even favor poisoning of our children, the pregnant mothers of America so that Industry can make another nickel?
And Senator Kerry? He spoke last month about the relaxation of mercury pollution controls in America:
“You can't talk about a culture of life in one breath and turn around and poison our children with the next,” Kerry told a small crowd, including several environmental youth groups, on the riverfront behind the Tsongas Arena.
Thank you Senator Kerry! The children of America need a President concerned about their health! America's health is at risk. Monetary gain is prioritized in this Administration over the very health and protection against poisons in our environment.
America Deserves Better! America needs an administration that protects our children from neurotoxins and does not allow swaps of poisons between polluters! America deserves a government that requires clean air, clean water, and a safe place for our children to be raised and that does not instead promote "voluntary" regulations.
I am scared Senator Kerry! Scared of what is happening to us and our children! Keep that door open for 2008!