Obama's EPA draws praise, fire over new emission regulations
December 21st, 2011
02:42 PM ET

Obama's EPA draws praise, fire over new emission regulations

(CNN) – The Environmental Protection Agency has unveiled new federal standards on toxic pollutants and mercury emissions from coal power plants – a move being praised by environmentalists but criticized by others, who predict lost jobs and a strain on the nation’s power grid.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, at an event at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, announced that for the first time U.S. coal and oil-fired power plant operators must limit their emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants.

“I am glad to be here to mark the finalization of a clean air rule that has been 20 years in the making, and is now ready to start improving our health, protecting our children, and cleaning up our air,” said Administrator Jackson.  “Under the Clean Air Act these standards will require American power plants to put in place proven and widely available pollution control technologies to cut harmful emissions of mercury, arsenic, chromium, nickel, and acid gases. In and of itself, this is a great victory for public health, especially for the health of our children.”

The new regulations are among the most wide-reaching to come from the EPA during the Obama administration.  They include separate limits for mercury emissions, acid gasses, and other pollutants from several metals.

Specifically, the EPA will impose numerical emission limits for all existing and future coal plants and propose a range of “widely available, technical and economically reasonable practices, technologies, and compliance strategies,” to meet the new demands.

According to an EPA analysis, the larger economic benefits of the reduced pollution will more than pay for the short-term clean up costs.  The EPA also predicts more jobs will be created than lost as power plants invest million of dollars in upgrades.

It also estimates health costs – as a result of less exposure to these toxins – will be reduced to between $59 billion and $140 billion by 2016, and the new regulations will prevent 17,000 premature deaths each year.

But the EPA also acknowledges the regulations will result in increased power grid strain: by its estimate, 14.7 gigawatts of power supply will be eliminated from the U.S. power grid when the rules take effect by 2015.  That figure – enough to power well over 10 million U.S. households – is overly optimistic, according to other industry analyses.

Several industry groups and some Republicans also disagree about the economic impact the new regulations will have.

Reps. Darrell Issa and Jim Jordan, chairmen of the House Oversight Committee and subcommittee on Regulatory affairs respectively, sent a letter to the White House earlier this week claiming the “EPA has failed to perform a proper analysis of the rule’s impact on job creation” and “consider the rule’s impact on grid reliability.”

The new rules have also made their way to the Republican presidential campaign trail, with Jon Huntsman recently predicting increased brownouts during the summer and Rick Perry declaring the EPA is a “job killing” agency.

And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a group traditionally sympathetic to Republicans, has aired ads urging listeners not to “let the EPA turn out the lights on the American economy."

But the Obama administration has found an ally in New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who argued in a recent op-ed for the Huffington Post that the new standards are gravely needed.

“We can stop this,” Bloomberg wrote of mercury poisoning. “We can spare children this tragic injustice and the pain it brings their families. We can spare adults from losing years off their lives. And we can spare taxpayers the enormous health care costs that come with mercury-related-illnesses."

Environmentalists, who earlier his fall were outraged with President Barack Obama over his refusal to push for ozone emission standards the EPA supported, are also strongly on board.

“This bold new announcement means less contaminated fish – and more protections for kids who are at risk of developing learning disabilities and other problems that have been linked to mercury poisoning,” the Sierra Club said in an e-mail to CNN. “This is a big public health victory, 20 years in the making. It's one of the most important anti-pollution measures in recent memory.”


Topics: EPA • President Obama • The News

soundoff (218 Responses)
  1. Matt

    how do these GOP kooks figure that this will "Cost Jobs". You have to HIRE PEOPLE TO INSTITUTE FIXES, you numbskulls! How on earth does that kill jobs?? More lies from the 'right'.

    December 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Eric

      Or we can not do this and save money... F'ing Democrats...

      December 21, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
      • joep199

        Just thought I'd remind you, Mercury is a proven toxin, that causes some really nasty symptoms. I just think that might have figured into the EPA's decision, since their job IS to protect the public from that sort of stuff.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
      • 1FreeWorld

        A polite video as to why ABO = Anybody But Obama

        http://www.pjtv.com/s/G42TAMQ

        Check it out!

        Polite discussion only here!

        December 23, 2011 at 8:37 am |
    • Tom

      In an EPA survey over half of the coal producing energy plants responded that they would shut down over the costs of upgrading. This would result in the loss of every job at each of the plants. This is also why in this same article it mentions the additional strain on the power grid of the United States and why Obama remarked during his campaign that energy costs would go up substantially. Do you homework before you start calling people moron. It comes right back at you.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
      • JakeF

        No they would not shut down. The idiocy of that statement is astounding.

        December 21, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
      • Lisa

        So IOW, rather than doing the right thing (which we know all companies will do which is why we don't need more regulations, let alone regulations at all), they will shut down? That makes sense ... how?

        I guess it's just more important to maintain those bottom line profits than be concerned with whether or not the air, water, people remain healthy.

        December 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
      • JMike

        Matt is absolutely right, and Tom, you are dead wrong. Some power plants will have to shut down. They are the ones driving kids with asthma into hospitals and graves. (Tom, are you saying you FAVOR killing children??? Obviously you are not, but that's what it sounds like.) These dirty coal-fired plants will be replaced by cleaner facilities, fired most likely with natural gas, which we have in abundance here in the US. Building new plants will create a lot of construction jobs, and the people running dirty plants now will be transferred to the new plants. The Republican position is untenable, anti-health and just downright wrong.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
      • scott

        "In an EPA survey" Seriously...I mean SERIOUSLY....LOL So did the survey mention how many companies would pop up over night to take there place?

        December 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
      • Jon

        Those coal plants should be shut down if they can't be profitable against the competing energy sources. As any economist knows, you can't let companies exploit externalities, such as pollution, if you want to create a real free market. Look up the Tragedy of the commons to see one example of the problem with exploiting externalities.

        This is why alternative energy has such a hard time. Existing power is exploiting externalities such as pollution.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
      • jake1969

        Tom, how about you read what these same industry heads are saying to their underwriters and financiers...a VERY DIFFERENT picture. They say they are prepared to implement the new rules. They are simply playing blowhard politics in response to the EPA survey. History shows time and time and time again that industry speaks out of both sides of the mouth depending on who their audience is. These are common sense rules that had huge bipartisan support when written under Bush Sr.'s EPA in the early '90s... Don't be so gullible to industry hype.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
      • Matt C

        To clarify, your both correct. Jobs will be created in the modifications and lost in the plants that close down. In all aspects its probably a wash on jobs and each side is just using it as a political tool. In reality, the poll on the coal plants is miss guided. Looking at the coal plants in the US, according to the EIA about 25% of the plants generate less than 300 MW. These primarily consist of the oldest (50+ years old) and least efficient plants. One modern plant could replace 3 of these with almost the same day to day staff. So worst case scenario is that this is only speeding up the inevitable job layoff. The reason more Republicans have heartburn with the proposal is that the states that have these older plants are generally Replublican. Nothing wrong with trying to protect their states jobs from going elsewhere, but on the same hand they should be doing what is best for the nation as a whole, not just them.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
      • Jon

        I make a living, and I don't release mercury into our water and atmosphere. I worked for CNN once, and I was laid-off...I got another job.
        I don't see why we need to give the oil and coal industry 200 years to clean-up their act.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
      • earlbowden

        "In an EPA survey over half of the coal producing energy plants responded that they would shut down over the costs of upgrading. "

        Tom, where can I find that survey?

        December 21, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • jsf12

      Increasing the cost of electricity and creating electricity shortages necessarily costs more jobs in the economy as a whole than it diverts into the corrective measures.
      Your logic would say even the worst job killing regulations create a extra few jobs for regulators, so ignoring all the job loss means you can claim a job gain for anything.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • bear

      it will kill lots of jobs- doctors needed to treat people with mercury poisoning, companies contracted to de-tox our oceans, the list goes on and on!

      December 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Henry

      Those are temporary construction jobs that disappear after the scrubbers and such are installed.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
      • Cogito

        Just like the Keystone Pipeline jobs...DOH!

        December 21, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
      • coalminer

        there will be a lot of jobs lost there are alot of coalminers out of work

        December 24, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Mike

      You are an idiot Matt. When you raise the price of energy you raise the cost of doing business which in turn means you have more money spent on overhead and less to spend on expanding and growing your company. Also if your electric bill goes up $50 a month then you have $50 less expendable resources that drives down demand for goods and services that people are "hired" to do. I do not disagree that the regulation may be needed but it will definitely cost jobs.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • dan

      @Matt, Nice parroting of the EPA's political talking points. I don't know about the GOP kooks, but an economist would tell you that older plants will be closed down affecting those that work there and their communities. Also, power outages tend to negatively impact economic activity, unless you sell generators. Finally, who do you think is going to ultimately pay for the upgrades...that's right, the consumer. Higher electrical costs for businesses and consumers. Yes, I'm sure upgrades will offset all those factors.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Richp

      think about it, what do you think the power companies are going to do, fix it or close it, based on past history they will close them. A few power plants wanted to upgrade their turbines to much more efficient ones as part of their modernization program, EPA said no, you have to upgrade the entire plant all at once, result, they just closed it. Build a new one from the ground up, takes 10-15 years to get through the EPA and bureaucrats.
      The EPA has no interest in collateral damage to the economy or social damage and would be much happier if every human was escorted out of the country and the US was turned into a pristine park.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
      • larry feig

        Forget about jobs- Do you know that children should not eat tuna fish more than once a week because otherwise they get mercury poisoning!!!

        December 21, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • scieng1

      If a plant is required to spend tens of millions of $, or more, the cost of electricity has to rise to meet those costs. As electricity costs rise, production costs and living costs rise for both industry and people in that region. As costs rise, jobs are lost to overseas competition, and more poverty is created. This is just another $trillion regulation intended to hurt the middle class.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
      • joep199

        Wow, I never would have thought of that! Stupid me, I thought that this was a regulation meant to protect ALL classes against a hazardous toxin. Thanks for helping me out with that!

        December 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
      • earlbowden

        Perhaps then, if the outfits that run these chemical spewing toxins had worked with the EPA, instead of fighting them for 20 years, the cost would have been much cheaper, and no plants would be closed. AND people would have had much cleaner air to breathe for the past 20 years. The cost issue to institute the regulated changes is entirely the fault of the industry itself and their lobbyists.

        December 21, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Ozzi

      Where in the budget do you propose that the money be found for the hiring of more inspectors and more bureaucrats? Shall it be education, social security, or health programs? Perhaps we should tax the jobless and the homeless?

      December 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
      • Cogito

        Perhaps the bloated and ever-increasing defense appropriations...?

        December 21, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Scott

      Because the cost in electricity bills will price American products by American companies out of the market you numbskull. Think beyond the powerplant itself. Thats what dunderheads Liberal Democrats are. Somethings sounds good. Looks good on paper. They never think of the unintended consequences that occur beyond their little pet project.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • MaryM

      Eric, ever hear of The Cuyahoga River in Ohio, also known as the RIVER OF FIRE. This disaster is one of the reasons the EPA was formed.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Robert Spiegel

      I fully support these rules as they will have a triple benefit. They will save lives, they will protect the environment and they will create good paying jobs that cannot be out sourced. Watch this video about jobs and the EPA to find out the truth. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ9G7nV3Yv8&feature=related

      December 22, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • Steve

      Leave it to the epa to make my electric bill go up even more. And people like you don`t use your mind if you have one as after an upgrade is done so is the jobs but along with that former plant workers will be without jobs as when they upgrade it will be more machines doing the work of actual people so yes it will kill jobs.

      December 22, 2011 at 7:12 am |
    • jack

      It will kill jobs because of competitiveness issues. China will double the number of coal-fired power plants they operate over the next 20 years. China already emits 10 x the amount of mercury from coal-fired power plants as the US.

      Just as with GHG, we are controlling our emissions, but China is not. Yet, we must compete with China to maintain our economic growth.

      December 27, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  2. charlie

    Now there's a smoking ban for ya.

    December 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  3. mike

    about time - screw the GOPigs who will drill up your butt if they could.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  4. Ilya Landa

    60% of comments to appear on this blog:
    That damn Obama, pushing his green energy agenda, killing off energy producers.
    What business is it of the FED to remove mercury from the air. A little bit of mercury had never killed anyone. And if I do care about mercury, I'll just move to a better neighborhood, with all the money I earned. Working.
    (Jees. Feel scarry just writing this)

    December 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • John

      Oh so now mercury is bad for you? There is no scientific consensus on this. In 1970 time magazine ran an article that said mercury was good for you so wich is it? There is still a debate on this! There is no setteled science. These guys just make this stuff up to get grant money, I read an email that said this was a lie................

      December 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
      • paradocs

        You don't really know much about science do you? Find a chemist or a physician and ask them about mercury toxicity. Or better yet, actually read a scientific publication once and learn for yourself. Time magazine isn't a scientific journal, nor are the emails you are getting from the Republican party telling you what to think.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
      • paradocs

        I assume "those guys making it up to get grant money" are the researchers studying mercury toxicity? If you compare the thousands (or possibly few millions) of dollars awarded in grant funding to study mercury toxicity to the multiple BILLIONS of dollars earned annually by the coal industry and electricity generators, which has the greatest motivation to mislead us? All so the shareholders can earn a few more pennies a share.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
      • joep199

        Just check out "Miamata Disease" on Google. That might change your opinion. Oh, no, it won't, that's right, your opinion is based on politics, not science. Sorry about that.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
      • earlbowden

        You're not serious are you? Google Minimata. The disease was first discovered in Minamata, Japan in 1956. A bit before 1970.

        December 21, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
      • Cogito

        The only people arguing over whether or not Mercury are the same people arguing over whether the Earth is flat or not. There is a scientific consensus on this, and I say that as a scientist.
        Vaguely referencing a 'pop-news' magazine article that's over 30 years old does not really put forth a well thought out, rational, scientific argument.
        Oh, & I read in an email that Elvis, Janis, Jimi, Buddy, Jim, Jerry, and the Big Bopper are all lounging on a beach in French Polynesia as we post this...

        December 21, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • Jelly

      Hrmm... you sound more jealous, than scary, to me.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • JakeF

      Of course! Because the mercury in the air (and other bad stuff for that matter) never falls on the "better" neighborhoods.

      LOL

      December 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • scieng1

      The Obama administration is on record as promoting more mercury in the environment, and especially in homes where children will be most affected by the mandating of mercury light bulbs. This is another double standard with no scientific sense from this administration.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
      • Jon

        You forgot the part in the article which said environmentalists are angry with Obama. Your republican vs democrat spin is meaningless to me.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
      • joep199

        Check out Snopes.com for the truth about mercury in light bulbs, if it's not too much trouble for you.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  5. Good Intentions Bad Implementation

    In other news, the EPA now rules that we need population controls since people exhale too much carbon dioxide and create too much waste and are using too much resources.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • max

      Whats the great harm is putting a known poison into the air?

      Also, the whole jobs thing is ridiculous. We will use the same amount of energy regardless of what fuel is used to produce it with very minor variance. Coal gets too expensive we use more oil or natural gas. Any energy requires jobs to produce it.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
      • Richp

        Actually some investors will build a few plants in Mexico and sell the power to the US, we already buy it from Canada at times, move it to old mex and the EPA can kiss it goodbye and we ship more money out of the US economy.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • JIT

      Good idea

      December 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Scott

      Yeah, like the past government studies about how much green house gasses are emmitted from bovine methane flatulence? Gotta love this science.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  6. Occus McGillicutty

    Nice, but doesn't this fly in the face of the (soon to be) government mandate that all incandescent light bulbs be 100% phased out and replaced with CFL's? I recycle mine, but how many Americans are going to do that? 1%? Think again. Americans will throw them in the trash, where they'll break and release their toxic gas into the atmosphere. How about the EPA look at ALL sources of lead, mercury and other metals leeching into our atmosphere?

    December 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • yup

      yup. i've got two sitting on the kitchen table waiting for me to figure out how to get rid of them right now. (maybe it leaks onto the table and into our food?) i better get rid of those today.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • AMP

      The fact is that a CFL saves enough electricity over it's lifespan, and so emits less mercury into the atmosphere, that it more than offsets the small amount of mercury in the lamp. Yes the lamp should be recycled, but that mercury would not go into the atmosphere unless burned. If people can't recycle a lamp, they should simply seal it in plastic before throwing it out.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • paradocs

      Apparently you haven't really looked into this much. There is no regulation banning incandescent light bulbs or requiring a change to CFL's. Rather there is a new efficiency standard governing most (not all light bulbs). Traditional incandescent light bulbs don't meet the new standards and manufacturers either won't or can't make ones that do. There are other and better alternatives to CFL's though, so you aren't "forced" into buying them. Consider LED's. Sure, they cost more to purchase but they last a lot longer and use a lot less electricity to run. Over the operating life of the LED bulb you will spend several thousand dollars less compared to incandescent bulbs, and avoid the mercury issue.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Scott

      Exactly. They last just the same as the old ones. They know you will not keep the receipts for 7 years. Far more expensive to purchase and produce. Far more enery consuming to produce. For more cost and labor intensive to dispose of. Ban the competition of a non-toxic, cheap and more pleasent bulb, all for the sake of being "green". The only green out of this is the money the shyster's producing these "green" technologies are cleaning up on through legislative mandates.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  7. Normal

    I do no understand any person who places the almighty dollar ahead of putting Mercury and other serious toxins into the environment we all must share.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • ?

      why don't we just make them remove it before they can sell it to us? can't they make scrubbers or something to take it out before they put toxic chemical and such into the environment?

      December 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Andrew

      Thank you! Makes no sense to me as well and it's quite simple. Too simple in fact.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  8. Mike B

    Well, there goes more US jobs to China.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • 4sanity

      Not really. But if it does at least you'll be alive (but outta work) and the Chinese won't be.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • max

      thats just stupid. you cant move a plant to china and transmit the power back to the US.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
      • JakeF

        Let 'em go. Some of them don't comprehend that the energy we use in the US is actually *gasp*... produced here.

        They only "grid" they're familiar with is the one with an "lle" on the end.

        December 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
      • scieng1

        You may not move the power plant, but you can move the production plants and industries that depend on cheap power, and hire millions of Americans. And raising the cost of living only promotes poverty.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • martin

      Mike B: China has problems with pollution that dwarf anything you could imagine here in the US. In some places almost the entire populations of certain towns has come down with cancers. they will face an incredible bill for cleanup and health problems that will almost certainly curtail their progress.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  9. Solitaire

    OhMy! I'm sure the power companies can't possible afford a piece of equipment to make the air cleaner or safer. How mean-spirited is this government?

    December 21, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  10. Rod C. Venger

    Can anyone here name a single person that they know who has suffered from "mercury poisoning"? Short of drinking the stuff, that is. EPA is going to all of this trouble...and will boost our electric bills by an obscene amount – the cost of using whats leftover from that missing 14.7 gigawatts of electricity that will disappear will not come cheap...and at the same time is pushing new fangled light bulbs that are filled with mercury...all of which will end up in our landfills. Perry may be the poster boy for early onset Alzheimers, but he's correct when it comes to eliminating the EPA, Dept and Energy and...I don't remember.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Anaximand

      Mercury levels have been increasing dramatically, and have been documented to lead to severe birth defects. And to those who say CFL bubs contain mercury, note that the amount of coal needed to light a standard light bulb releases nearly four times the amount of mercury that is in the CFL bulbs.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Ancient Curse

      Changes to the EPA? Sure. Elimination of the EPA? No. Never. I'm old enough to remember when we had rivers on fire in this country.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
      • Richp

        I agree, but the EPA should be required to do an economic impact study that is evaluated by other than government cronies. They have been running rampant for too long.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Sid

      Lots of people suffered and died. Thanks to EPA for controlling and regulating. You don't know what EPA actually does, so dont worry too much..continue bragging.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • skee hee

      That power plant you're so in love with spits out TONS of mercury over it's life time where as that compact flouresent bulb has but a period sized drop of mercury in it.
      So if my little dot of mercury cuts down the need to build more of these belchers of toxins, I'll take the small dose, thank you!
      And what is an acceptable number of folks who have to be sick or die so you can power your margarita mixer?

      December 21, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Dzilijan

      Yeah... I can name an entire region that deals with "mercury poisoning." Ever heard of balkan endemic nephropathy?

      December 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
      • Dennis

        I can't afford to pay more in utilities. My wife is unemployed, gas is up 240% since 2008, my health insurance premiums went up 24% in response to the health care law, the price of groceries has increased 20% over the last 3 years, and my house value is 10% lower than what I owe. My pay hasn't increased over the same time. These costs will be passed along to consumers...so in effect, a 10 or 20% increase in electicity is coming. Yea! I am barely making it, and now I will be sitting in the dark with no heat and a candle for a light. I don't support this, nor do I support anything that forces me on the street. I am glad so many of you are so willing to pay more, I cannot.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
      • joep199

        or "Miamata Disease"?

        December 21, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Jess C

      Just Google it; you may learn something vs. snapping to ill-informed judement. Of course, you probably don't give much credence to experts. Do you have a degree in chemistry by any chance? Mercury is nasty stuff. Eliminating the EPA opens the door for business to do what it wants to the environment. You may not give a damn, but most of use who care about health and the environment do. You lose.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Sunny

      Rod – Thumbs up for the Perry comment (;-)), but as far as the rest of it...the primary concern about the mercury from coal plants is the fact that it dissolves into water and works its way up the food chain, where we ingest it in fish. This is why we aren't supposed to eat tuna or swordfish more than once a month. I used to think salmon was ok, then I found out that farm-raised salmon can be just as high as tuna! As women, it is a heavier concern for us than it is for men, as mercury tends to accumulate in our wombs. Mercury consumption by pregnant women has been linked to birth defects, which is especially sad given the benefits of fish for fetal brain growth. There have also been numerous cases of mercury poisoning from over-consumption of fish.

      You may think, what's the big deal? Just limit your fish consumption! I don't think this is something we should ask of people. First, depending on your culture and where you live, fish may be a primary staple of your traditional diet. It is much healthier to eat fish 5-6 times a week than beef, except for the mercury poisoning. We have to get out of the mindset of sacrificing our health and our finances just so the energy companies can put off making necessary changes. They will have to make these changes eventually anyway. How many people pay extra for specially-caught fish and bottled water? That is a way of excusing away the polluters – it's like we're giving them the green light on pollution and we'll take the hit to OUR pocketbooks to make sure our food is uncontaminated. I say no more. It's time for us to demand the right to use our natural resources without fear of toxic pollution! People used to fish the river in my town to supplement their diets – you can't do that anymore because of the toxic chemicals being dumped in upstream. How is that fair? Now instead of having a viable alternative to store-bought food, we are forced into buying all of our food from the store. With rising food costs, it's just another push closer to bankruptcy or homelessness for many American families.

      We have a right to demand better. Figuring out alternative technologies will provide plenty of jobs.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Use Reason, Please.

      The problem is exposure to mercury as a vapor can cause any number of issues ranging from trembles and diarrhea to seizures and death. Often Docs do not complete the required tests to determine if these are directly caused by overexposure to mercury in the air. What studies have shown, please google 'mercury exposure studies', is that exposure for prolonged periods or at high doses causes many common sicknesses and developmental issues so it makes sense to limit how much of this stuff is being used. It's really quite simple.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
      • dental amalgam

        i know my health started to decline when i got amalgam fillings. i remember questioning it as a kid, but didn't think they would take them out and i felt that i had already been through a lot to get fillings. (my parents were dirt poor) so i just went along with it. but i could feel it way back then. tons of health issues my whole life since then. if i get enough money i would take them out, but they would probably put bpa in. seems like the health care profession just loves to keep us sick and coming back.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • kris

      Rod, what do you think absorbs most of the stuff in our atmosphere? ding ding ding, the Ocean!!. Why do you think it is not recommended for kids to eat certain types of fish in the ocean? ding ding ding, Mercury!!! When you get mercury poisoning the doctor doesn't look at you and say "that's a clear case of mercury poisoning" it builds up and wreaks havoc on your nervous system in other forms such as MS. Hey you never know your Perry joke could be because of mercury poisoning.

      If you want to talk about light bulbs, use the recycling systems set up by pretty much any municipality and home depot to dispose of them. Such an easy solution for you, which seems very lazy. If you want to cut out the EPA all means start treating your own water.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Vivian

      Yes, Rod. I nknow someone who has been terribly ill because of Mercury poisoning. You, Sir, are an IMBECILE. Must be a Republican, you folks create your own truths to fit into your twisted selfish ideology.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
      • John

        Mercury posion = brain damage = more repulican voters. Big problem for everyone else.

        December 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
      • JMike

        Amen!

        December 21, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Alex

      so the Industry should be left to dump whatever contaminates it wants into the environment under the guise that "jobs" will be "lost" due to environmental protection? i think that's a great idea, besides it saves tax money. we're likely old enough that whatever the outcome of the ingested contamination has already happened, and if not, a next generation can handle and pay for it. of course, we're sure that the industry is telling the truth and that the silly EPA and their so-called "experts" are dead wrong and additional regulation will just cause "more government" and job killing intervention into our great free market economy. Obviously, the effects on the loss of power to the grid will offset any environmental impact of the added regulations because, until this point, the grid has been so healthy and well maintained (wasn't it deregulated some time back?) that these changes will cause the grid to collapse by themselves because there have been no prior problems identified or documented by various power outages across the country (i'd say that redundantly, but what's the point). I would like to point to the fact that it was too much government that caused the SDG&E blackout a few months ago that took out most of the ever evil southern California and parts of a few other much less important states. that's what grinds my gears.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • carolsouth

      I know that our fish supply has been poisoned with mercury. I'm sure you've seen the warnings regarding tuna, mackerel etc. "For fetuses, infants, and children, the primary health effect of methylmercury is impaired neurological development. Methylmercury exposure in the womb, which can result from a mother's consumption of fish and shellfish that contain methylmercury, can adversely affect a baby's growing brain and nervous system. Impacts on cognitive thinking, memory, attention, language, and fine motor and visual spatial skills have been seen in children exposed to methylmercury in the womb." Why would you not want companies to curb this? They have the money. Reduce a CEO's pay, that should do it.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • John

      Rod – This is the same as saying: "Hey, I've never met anyone with polio, so whey the hell did they make the vaccine?" The reason you don't see anyone in the US with polio is because they went to the trouble of making the vaccine in the first place.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • larry feig

      Any child eating more than one can of tuna fish a week will have elevated mercury in their blood!

      do you have kids??? Do they eat tuna sandwiches??

      December 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
      • larry feig

        Check out this link

        http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/tuna.asp

        December 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • lots of things

      various authors have found issues with mercury in AIDS-AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS, ALLERGIES, anemia, anorexia, arthritis, asthma, candidasis, edema, epilepsy, epstein barr (chronic fatigue), headaches, heart problems, hypertension, insomnia, kidney disease, lupus, MS, neuritis, parkinsons, paralysis, tinnitus, damage to kidney, lungs, and brain. that covers about everyone i know.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  11. TR

    A great victory, indeed, for people who love to breath clean air and not have our children poluted! Can't say the same for the Retardicans, I think we may be too late for them (just look at how much they love mercury in their water, it really is so engrained into their culture that it's already affecting their thinking) but I'm happy :-)

    December 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  12. craig

    It seems funny that jobs matter to the GOP only when they trump poisoning the environment. Keystone, and now this! Jobs won't much matter when everyone is dying from the damage we've done.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  13. Don

    I am sure everyone is recycling their CFL bulbs, right.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  14. Matt

    "the new regulations will prevent 17,000 premature deaths each year."

    How exactly do they know this? All this sounds like is a random number that is being thrown out to try to strengthen their point, even though the number has no foundation. Show me how they got this number and I might buy it.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • James

      Same way Obama came up the Wall Street Bail-Out number; "we just wanted to have a really big number". Which is the same way Bush got us into Iraq and Obama is trying to get us into Iran....LIES, and more LIES. GOP or DEM; only the gullible believe anything they say anymore. With the lone exception of Mr. Truth...Dr. Ron Paul!

      December 21, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Ok then

      If you're going to call into question the number of premature deaths caused a year (a number which is certainly, at best, an estimate, but undoubtedly based on surveying hospital data) then why not look at the other end of the spectrum and question the industry's claim to the "thousands of jobs that will be lost" and the "higher costs of energy" that will be associated. Where do they get THOSE numbers?

      If you ask me, I don't care if it saves 1 or 1 billion lives, I'd rather not have mercury in my fish as there is no debate on whether or not it is toxic...

      December 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • siuqram

      and even, then – what is a "premature" death? Someone who would've lived to be 73 but died at 71?

      Additionally, is it justified? 17,000 is a very small percentage of the US population 300,000,000)
      .00001%

      Does anyone else realize this? .00001% are at risk of premature death due the air pollution they're talking about in the article. I bet we have a better chance of spontaneous combustion.

      What do you guys think?

      Devon

      That equals about

      December 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • 4sanity

      Actually, the number estimates are based on sound scientific principles and data. We know what environmental levels cause toxicity (e.g. look up Minamata disease), we know what percentage of the population has a toxic burden and at what concentration. From dose-response curves you can then calculate what number of people will suffer brain damage (Republicans have a gene that makes them hypersensitive – see current Presidential candidates), what number will suffer liver damage, and how many years it will knock off your life expectancy.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  15. Dan

    You don't get "mercury poisoning" generally – rather, you may be stupider – that is, lose a couple points of IQ because you've been excused to mercury. Or you have a greater chance of developing a learning disability, or you have less of a chance of dying prematurely from a heart attack or stroke. Are you seriously arguing that mercury isn't poison? Further, electric bills wont be that much higher, and when they will be it's going to pay for increased jobs for the engineers who design, install, and monitor emissions control equipment.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  16. ???

    Excellent. Now hopefully these newly regulated power facilities will be able to make the necessary upgrades to their infrastructure to reduce the listed pollutants which would create jobs in construction, reduce the number of tainted fish such as tuna, and there will hopefully be less sick people out of work, school, and in college.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  17. Michael

    Yet, it is because of this same EPA that we have the new "energy saving" lightbulbs that contain what element? Yeah, that's right...mercury. It won't be long from now that there will be a crackdown on these lightbulbs after higher levels of mercury will be found in our trash.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • 4sanity

      Yes, they will phase them out. LEDs also have problems. But the reduced energy requirements (–> lower CO2 emissions) are the benefit v. higher toxics.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  18. Dan

    This article – and others recently about environmental issues – are incredibly derisive and biased against environmental issues. By framing the issue as "environmentalists praise this move." and it is "derided by others" – it makes the environmentalists out to be a fringe movement. Further, it makes it seem as if environmental regulations to control mercury – which lead children to have learning disabilities and other health issues – are the opinion of environmentalists, rather than established facts by the medical and scientific community. How about a detailed listing of the number of premature deaths, the average increase in intelligence, and the host of other benefits that go into the $59 – $140 billion estimate? Why are reporters so terribly scientifically and economically illiterate? Why are they so terribly bad at their jobs?

    December 21, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  19. WhoTheHe!!

    The frickin environmentalists won't be happy until we all live in a forest, eat berries and reside at the bottom of the food chain. I think the EPA and Obama have mercury poisoning, along with 99% of congress

    December 21, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • A-Ron

      Then go ahead and stick your head over a smoke stack and breathe in deep and remove yourself from the gene pool because the rest of us like breathing clean air and think it's a good thing NOT to be poisoned.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  20. Dan

    There was a recent article out that demonstrated that if you count environmental and other damages to society (increased health burdens, etc) – coal power plants actually have a negative economic impact on the country. That is – the damages they do to our health and well-being are greater than their value to society. The reality is that generating electricity from natural gas is cheaper than from coal. Wind is competitive with coal, and within 7 – 10 years, solar will be competitive with coal. But none of those fuels have nearly the horrible health and environmental impact that coal does. Did you know that there are more radioactive emissions from a coal plant than a nuclear plant? It's true. Look it up. Did you know what gets spewed from coal smoke stacks? Aside from radioactive materials – mercury, lead, nickel, and other heavy metals, as well as SO2, NO2, particulate matter, and other things that cause asthma, heart attacks, lung cancer, high blood pressure, etc.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  21. @Rod Venger

    just because you don't see anyone suffering from mercury poisoning doesn't mean it' not happening. I never saw anyone get killed, doesn't mean there aren't any killing going on in the world. Facts are facts, dangerous chemicals produced, means toxic chemicals we eat and breath as well. Ask the peeps at Chernobyl and Fukushima. I think the people in LA can see the sky again thanks to stricter EPA standards...

    December 21, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  22. D Brennan

    Actually, I can think of a few with acute mercury poisoning and several with more moderate mercury levels. In fact, if you had your own blood checked you may be surprised at the results. Mercury accumulates in your body over the period of years and can have devastating effects in the long run. The primary source in the U.S. is coal fired power plants.

    This bill will in fact create jobs in my industry. There will be hundreds, if not thousands, of scrubbers built and installed in order to control emissions. That means high paying jobs for steel fabricators, welders, engineers and inspectors. It also means that gas-fired power plants will need to be constructed to take up the slack from coal power plants that are just too dirty to be kept online. That means thousands of construction, pipeline, engineering, electrical and other well paying jobs created.

    The fact that this bill will also save a lot of lives is icing on the cake. I hope that this is the first of many steps that the administration takes to modernize the notoriously old infrastructure we rely on here in the U.S.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Scott

      It won't happen. What many fail to comprehend, no one will build new plants under existing tax law conditions. Why build a new plant if you are a gas operating one? Why incur the huge costs to meet environmental standards? These environmental rules will knock out your competition that has a 400 yr domestic fuel supply. You would see your profits jump up with no additions to your costs. Build more? Why? That is what environmentalists can't comprehend fromt heir fishbowl.

      December 21, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  23. Mike S.

    "Short of drinking the stuff, that is"

    Drinking mercury isn't actually very harmful. It flushes right through, either as the metal or as insoluble mercury chloride.

    Breathing the vapor is much more serious, and is what they are concerned about. Mercury that rains out and reaches the bottom of a stream of lake can get methylated by the local bacteria; methyl mercury is a particularly nasty poison. Your liver turns to mush, then you die.

    Burning things containing mercury without a scrubber in place is a bad idea. Banning mercury switches and thermometers and panicking over dental fillings is going too far the other way.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  24. Patriot Awesome

    Rod C. Venger – The reason you don't know anybody that has suffered from mercury poisoning is thanks to the EPA.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  25. John Sullivan

    Read "A Review of Mercury in the Environment" @ http://www.dnr.sc.gov/marine/img/mm_paper.pdf. Very informative. Someone needs to look out for us, 'cause Big Business never will. Its not in their shareholders interest. More goverment oversite please, not less.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • 4sanity

      Agreed.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • jean2009

      Thanks.

      December 22, 2011 at 12:11 am |
  26. streetsmt

    My son has autism. We believe that the 1 in 10000 cases jumped to 1 in 99 due mostly to the increase in pollutants. Mercury is a prime suspect.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  27. ClearAndPresentThinking

    “EPA has failed to perform a proper analysis of the rule’s impact on job creation” , Translation: this is stepping on the toes of our biggest campaign contributors.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  28. johnny

    Do any of you enjoy fishing? When I was a child, you could fry up and eat any fresh water fish you caught. Now? The mercury levels are so high, it isn't recommended to even eat one. The mercury is also in many of the salt water species, making them less healthy to eat. It's about time this permanent toxin was regulated.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • jean2009

      CO2 emissions is a major reason coral reefs around the world are dying.

      December 22, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • jean2009

      If we keep going at the rate we currently are there won't be anything left to sustain fish.

      December 22, 2011 at 12:10 am |
  29. Charlotte

    Don't listen to all the fear-mongering Faux Noise hogwash. Those righties are always anti-environment because someone told them it's the correct place to be. You know, poop in everyone else's back yard and to heck with overall health, documented impacts and so forth, if it costs me a few extra dollars. The liars who say that it will cost an 'obscene amount' have not bothered to actually do any research, they are just spouting the misinformation that their perceived betters have told them to swallow...hook, line and sinker.....don't think, don't research, you have been assimilated.....you must not use a brain even if you have one.....repeat, repeat, repeat....

    December 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  30. Julnor

    Other than saying "' the larger economic benefits of the reduced pollution will more than pay for the short-term clean up costs", no where does it say what the costs are (and don't forget to include the cost of added govt inspectors to monitor this). It doesn't say what the impact to the electric bill will be. I also assume it doesn't inclulde the health care costs of those people who will not die prematurely. It also doesn't say what the reduction in mercury is. So here's another story that talks about vague economic benefits but does not address costs. Am I for or against this? Who can say, there is not enough info to say. But the implication is that if you are against it you are some sort of evil person who hates children.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • joep199

      The inspectors are already in place, so we won't need any more of them. In fact, as cleaner plants (such as natural gas fueled plants) come on line, we'll need FEWER inspectors.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  31. Max in NY

    Clean coal....what a joke. Its by far the dirtiest fuel source we use.

    Thank goodness for these new regulations. The USA will be a better country the day we're using 100% altnernative energy. No more wars for oil, no more oil subsidies, no more mercury levels rising in fish, no more acid rain...the list goes on...

    December 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  32. DandyStryker

    Right wingers and Republicons toss around phrases like "liberty" and "freedom." Well, if they are *serious* about these principles they will join millions of Americans in supporting the EPA and their attempts to protect our environment. There is no greater freedom than the right to breath clean air, drink clean water, and cultivate crops in uncontaminated soil. There should be no confusion over this - those who champion liberty and freedom will support the EPA in their struggle with the haters of freedom who want to dump their toxic waste all over our great country. Fake "libertarians" like Ron Paul, who want to *eliminate* the EPA, are co conspirators with these polluters in degrading the liberty and freedom that all Americans deserve - the freedom to live in a clean environment.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Henry Miller

      Like being ordered around by a bunch of eco-nazis represent "liberty" and "freedom." No, actually, "those who champion liberty and freedom" will do their best to put an end to the outrageous intrusions of the American government into American society.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
      • max

        some reaally cheap, prime property for sale near those coal plants, Hank. I think you are missing your opportunity to get it cheap. once this whole mercury hoax blows over itll be selling like crazy!

        December 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
      • 4sanity

        By eco-nazis I assume you are referring to scientists who know what they're talking about ? Because last time I checked the EPA wasn't staffed by liberal hippies with an axe to grind with the guardians of our environment (aka Exxon Mobil, Haliburton or Dow Chemical etc.)

        December 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
      • JohnRJ08

        Your comments on CNN are becoming rather notorious for their paranoid, ill-informed and belligerent content.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  33. Slewatha

    In Minnesota they have limits on fish you can consume from the lakes. Guess why? That's right, mercury levels are high. But keep on pretending that all is well because you don't see it.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  34. Henry Miller

    If there's any way the eco-nazis at the EPA can further hammer American jobs and the American economy, they'll find it.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  35. Vivian

    Well, it is about time! Mercury is one of the most toxic agents known to man. Don't allow the corporations to continue poisoning us just so they can make insane profits! THANK YOU EPA, for once you have done your job!

    Ooooh, the right wing attack will begin. How dare you prioritize people over profits!!!!!

    December 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  36. joe

    Except that the 17,000/yr prevented deaths will increase health care costs.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • dan

      Are "prevented deaths" from EPA regulations similar to "jobs created" from economic stimulus, meaning I can reduce that number by 80% to get the true number. Do some research on overinflated EPA health claims.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  37. blesche

    Remember Union Carbide? No? Was that before your time, Mr. Venger?

    Union Carbide unleashed huge amounts of dangerous pollutants into the air from one of their factories in India, and *surprise surprise* thousands of people were injured by highly acidic acid rain shortly thereafter.

    You get rid of the EPA and you risk having disasters like that here in America. As it stands, we still get them anyways but at least here we have ways to clean them up after the fact... thanks to the EPA. If anything, the EPA needs more power because of the harm companies do to the environment.

    I'm not talking about just clearcutting forests or emitting excess CO2 gasses. I'm talking about literally dumping sludge into the environment. I live in Central Florida, one of the areas hardest hit by environmental pollution in recent memory. Most of the lakes around here are not suitable for human interaction (fishing, swimming) because of decades of prior mismanagement.

    I hope if Mr. Perry has a plan to get rid of the EPA and the department of energy that he has a way to integrate their functions into other departments and not simply let the needs wallow!

    December 21, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • jrp1970

      Union Carbide did not injur people! It killed over 2,000 people. Get rid of the EPA and we can bring disasters like this home.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • JohnRJ08

      This comment should be repeated, over and over again, until it gets through the thick skulls of the right-wingers posting absurd anti-EPA comments here.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • MaryM

      Blesche, sounds like you would remember The Cuyahoga River in Ohio, also know as the RIVER OF FIRE. This river of fire is one of the reasons the EPA was formed

      December 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  38. Gary

    So you think they're over reaching, Mercury is some bad stuff. Its an unusual society that cares more for jobs and economy than there own health. I never understood that.
    Give an inch take a mile.
    Go to places like Western PA, or the Oil fields of Texas, or Chemical plants in NJ, NY. Or try parts of California. or perhaps WV. There are still scars where companies did not care and people said nothing for the sake of jobs. Of course most of those people can't complian since they're dead...

    December 21, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  39. kris

    Move to China, they have no regulations. 1 day in Linfen China is like smoking 3 packs of cigs a day. REDNECK HEAVEN and we don't even have to pay for it!

    December 21, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Alex

      I used to think that moving these people to texas was a good idea, but you're right, china has far exceeded even texas' greatest dreams of environmental destruction.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • jean2009

      Mercury levels are the reason salmon numbers are down by 90%. You may want to read Growth and Methylmercury Accumulation in Juvenile Chinook Salmon in the Sacremento River and its Floodplain, the Yoho Bypass-Rene E Henry http://www.water.ca.gov/aes/docs/YoloSalmonMercury.pdf

      December 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Ozzi

      I'm kinda surprised. I figured the environmentalists would be happy with fewer people. If they let industry do their jobs, their would be fewer people around.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  40. jean2009

    @Rod C Venger: At a recent function I overheard the husband of a friend, who is one of the CEO's in charge of a large electric power company say,: "Oh we could have met all these regulations years ago...we have the money, the technology, and the man power to do it, but why bother we can drag our feet and get an extension. " Makes one wonder why the EPA hasn't cracked down harder.

    For you to say you don't know anyone who has been harmed by mercury poisoning...means what? That you are all knowing about the many current autoimmune diseases for which no one knows the cause or has found a cure. Maybe you should research the symptoms of mercury poisoning.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • right

      ITS easy to say that when you dont Name any Name's but you just say a friends Husband, what electric power company does he work for DUKE, XCEL, Sierra Nevada, Edison... that right becouse he never said that and you never heard that you are just bashing the power companys not noing anything about the power grid or structure in the US, not noing that some of these parts that the power companys have to install and change take YEARS TO MAKE, and that each Power plant has a limited Budget to do maintenance/work on the plant each year..

      December 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
      • jean2009

        AEP

        December 21, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
      • jean2009

        You ask for a company name smart a@@ so there you go.

        December 21, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  41. jerrycc

    Meanwhile the world allows China to have zero emission standards while buying their cheap garbage to throw in our landfills 6 mo. later..

    December 21, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  42. jrp1970

    Mercury never leaves the food-chain once it gets into it. This is why pregnant woman cannot eat certain types of fish. The levels are skyrocketing in the larger fish species due to polution. This is a no brainer. being against this is both ignorant and selfish.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  43. rj

    coal will never be phased out, its important. I don't see why striving for better efficiency and less pollution is always viewed as destroying jobs. Its related, you can lower pollution by increase efficiency. The seat belt was put into law and not something that was done willingly so was the first mileage standards after the opec crisis. A power plant is like any other business, it needs to evolve slightly. The dinosaur ways of the past don't contribute to our own long term energy needs/independence. Its a short term hick-up for long term results. Lately our society argues over the short term and not the long term implications. If you follow that belief nothing changes implying complete perfection on the bat and that there is no such thing as varying market/demand and supply issues. Free market people should realize game changers are inevitable in biz. Its like saying if your suppliers are limited and will run out. You keep ordering in good faith they'll find the product you need instead of looking for additional suppliers.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  44. chill

    It's about time. This is years if not decades overdue. These plants were supposed to be cleaned up as they upgraded and the industry has been evading those rules forever. If I have to pay a little more to prevent 17,000 premature deaths a year and untold amounts of misery from dealing with illnesses that primarily impact children, so be it. The atmosphere does not belong to the power companies to do with a they wish. If they want to dump their waste into our common air, then they have to be sure it doesn't impact others. This cry baby whining every time we've added regulations is typically followed by grudging solutions and somehow the issue goes away. What's new.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  45. jerrycc

    Meanwhile the liberals want to allow only mercury filled lightbulbs. Go figure.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • joep199

      They're not "mercury filled", they're just fluorescent bulbs with a tiny amount of mercury in them, like we've used for years, or LED's, which don't contain mercury at all. Either one of these, by the way, is also much more efficient and longer lasting than an incandescent bulb.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Cogito

      Ever hear of an LED?

      December 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • jean2009

      @jerrycc Replacing 1 incandescent light bulb with a CFL light bulb will over the life of that bulb will keep a half ton of CO2 out of the atmosphere. If everyone in the United States used energy saving lighting we could retire 90 average size power plants. Saving electricity reduces CO2 emissions, sulfur oxide and nuclear waste. CFL light bulbs are 4 times as efficient as an incandescent light bulb, they last 10 times longer. A 22 watt CFL is the equivalent of one100 watt incandescent, and uses 50-80% less energy.
      Eventually though we will all switch to LED lighting.

      I would suggest going to the Earth Easy Solutions for Sustainable Living website and look at the cost comparisons for using each type of bulb. The incandescent bulb costs $1.25 for a 60 watt bulb with a life span of 1200 hours. If you factor that a LED that costs $35.95 will provide the same amount of light in a 6 watt bulb and last 50,000 hours. To get that length of time out of 60 watt incandescent bulbs you will need to buy 42 bulbs which cost at today's price $52.50, and add to that you will be using more kwh to use the incandescent bulb. At the end of 50,000 hours you will have spent (today's price) $652.50 and with the LED you would have bought one bulb and saved considerable energy and would be out a total of $95.95 the combine cost of one bulb and $60 worth of energy. The CFL bulb cost $3.95 and you would need 5 @ 10,000 hrs=50,000 and the cost of using more energy than the LED, over the life of 50,000 hours you would spent $159.75.

      If you change 25 light bulbs (average home) to CFL or LED the saving could add up to $12, 300 CFL and $14,000 LED average over the period of the 50,000 hours of use, if you had only used incandescent.
      http://eartheasy.com/live_led_bulbs_comparison.html

      About 11 years ago we started switching over our home to CFL and LED bulbs where and when available. Now we are down to a few bulbs in one chandelier that have not yet been converted. At this point, not one of the CFL bulbs has needed to be replaced. Neither have any of the LED bulbs, but most of them are the most recent replacements.

      Frankly I wouldn't change my wonderfully lite LED kitchen for the bulky, hot energy gobbling incandescent light fixtures of the past....nor would I appreciate the need to continually climb a 16 foot ladder to change a bulb in a cathedral ceiling fixture. At 76, I am getting too old to be climbing ladders.

      December 21, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  46. blake

    The EPA cannot be trusted. Not possible to know when they are truly protecting the American people from a legitimate threat and when they are simply promoting a leftist, big government, anti-business, redistribution of wealth agenda.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Geezer

      People like you should be thrown right into the smoke stack. Worthless piece of crap.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Jeff S

      Especially when it comes to something as ambiguous as our old friend Hg. The commies on the left have been promoting their "mercury is toxic" agenda for far too long! As a proud right-winger, I feed my children drops of mercury, just to show the world that this is all about re-distributing the wealth of the power corporations. After 15 years of doing so, they're every bit as smart as I am – and I'm pretty smart – voted for George W Bush twice.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • 4sanity

      Good grief ! Do you honestly believe the BS you write ? If it weren't for the EPA you'd still be sucking on lead, smog and ozone from car tailpipes, acid rain destroying our watersheds, industrial garbage being poured into our waterways and a host of other filthy practices that "holier-than-Mother-Teresa" corporations would like to revert to in order to save a dime.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • JohnRJ08

      You sound like you're getting all your news from those high school graduates over at FOX News.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • jake1969

      Boy are you a brainwashed cronie. Embarrassing. The strides made by the original Clean Water Act in the early '70s and the Clean Air Act of the late '70s...and the updates to those Acts since...have had ENORMOUS benefits to our country. And, the EPA is the enforcer of those laws. You take for granted all the benefits you experience everyday from those laws. Everytime you flush your toilet or use water, that water goes to a plant and gets treated before discharge. Water treatment has led to huge drops in typhoid, hepatitis A, and scores of other transmittable diseases over the years. Thank the EPA for that. Also, I don't know how old you are, but prior to the Clean Air Act, if you drove by a power plant, you'd see gobs of smokes for miles pouring out of the plants. Since the Act and the requirement for scrubbers, etc, you see almost no visible emissions from power plants anymore (depending on things like humidity, temp, etc). Our air is far cleaner today as a result. Again, thank the EPA for that.

      Of course, I don't know why I'm wasting my time. You sound like a total stooge to Beck and his cronies. Science is irrelevant to you all. Anyone though who thinks industry would have made all these gains on their own is naive as heck.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • joep199

      But I guess we can trust you, because your comments obviously aren't politically motivated.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  47. Marcos

    Just fix the tax extension so that I can feed my family. Who the #@$%^* care about this ^*&%$#. Can I get an AMEN? CAN I GET AN AMEN HERE PLEASE? LOL One can only make fun out of this whole thing that's happening to our country. But I still need to feed my family without having to ask the government for food stamps.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • jake1969

      Not getting an amen from me, I prefer my air mercury-free... The notion that we should stop doing everything and not promote clean air and water because of the economy is hogwash.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  48. Hmmm....

    I'm not sure why people would rejoice over these so called "tougher measures".

    For the last decade or so, power plants have had "tougher "measures" on the amount of pollutants that they can release and they have not been abiding by those measures, nor has anyone held them accountable for not doing so.

    And now... here are even more "tougher measures" they are required to abide by. Should any expect they will?

    December 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  49. Ben

    Everybody knows mercury is totally harmless. This is just one more liberal excuse to regulate our lives and impose big government on the people. There should be no limits whatsoever on coal mining or coal burning.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • ???

      Check this link out:

      Just copy and paste this link and watch the video. If you still are not swayed, then I just really don't know what will.

      December 21, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  50. bczu

    1/2 a teaspoon of this stuff spills in your house a hazmat team has to come and quarantine the area....think about that.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  51. Jeff S

    Next they're going to have the "audacity" to roll back the Bush-Admin's increase in drinking water arsenic limitations. What's next – disallowing human feces from being added to drinking water? Or "no spent uranium rods used for playground groundfill?" I swear, this administration sometimes seems like it cares more about our long-term health than it does the profits of largely foreign-owned corporations. Commies.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  52. Geezer

    When the right wing republican scum loses the people win.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  53. 4sanity

    EPA is mandated to regulate harmful manmade emissions to minimise their impact on our health and the environment. This isn't a partisan political issue – it's a scientific one. And the science behind these rule changes is solid. In fact they are way overdue ! And a "jobs" analysis isn't relevant – period. Mercury, chromium or arsenic poisoning isn't up for corporate $ horsetrading.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  54. ObamaJoe

    ============This cry baby whining every time we've added regulations is typically followed by grudging solutions and somehow the issue goes away. ==========chill

    aglee...............

    December 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  55. Henry Newman

    As someone who has been tested and has extremely high levels of mercury likely from eating salt water fish, we need to address the problem nationally and world-wide. Maybe some of you should get tested to see what your mercury level is? It be change your mind.

    December 21, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  56. Rick FL

    you mean the EPA wants to protect our air? how communist of them! don't they know that its patriotic and its the coal company's right to put as much pollution into the air as they want. I think its in the constitution.

    December 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  57. ricksta

    Go EPA!

    December 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  58. 21k

    i think constellation energy in maryland has already complied with the new limits. they said it was not as costly and did not take as much time as these other companies are saying. hey, who says mercury is harmful? the scientists, that's who! the same ones that say dinosaurs are older than mankind and that global warming is occurring. if mercury were harmful, god wouldn't have made it (excerpted from a texas high school science textbook)

    December 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  59. Barry G.

    The guys complaining about the loss of jobs sound like little baby whiners who need some naps.
    Go whine somewhere else.

    I'd be a little embarrassed that these environmental laws are being implemented now - and not decades ago when they were identified.
    How many miscarriages or deformed babies have been born because of gross industrial environmental negligence?

    December 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  60. jake1969

    Time and time again industry lies and overstates the costs of environmental regulation, and conservatives eat it up as the gospel! One simply has to look at statements industry has made to their underwriters and financial oversight boards versus what they say to the media and Congress. In the former case, they say "no big cost, we are prepared to implement"...but in political avenues "this will kill jobs!" BS. Doesn't anyone remember how conservatives claimed the original Clean Air Act (in the late '70s) was going to destroy the American economy? Well, we saw 2 decades of large growth following the Clean Air Act...while ironically, during the 2000s, a period with little new environmental regulation (Bush, then until now Obama's done very little), the economy has tanked.

    The benefits to this are REAL. Mercury is very toxic. It isn't as hard to control as conservative cronies believe. Plus, these were rules approved by Bush Sr and at the time there was very large consensus by both parties that this had to be done. It wasn't until the TEA Party came along that conservatives changed their minds, given they bow to ideology over facts.

    But, you don't need to agree with my commentary...again, all you here posting that this is bad and will cost jobs, I challenge you to do a little research and see what industry said to the underwriters...not nearly as hyped.

    BTW, these rules are WAY more important than the ozone rules that got delayed.

    December 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  61. MattNV

    Are you one of those who want so called green energy? Are you applauding for this EPA action? Why not vote with your dollars instead of enforcing XYZ demands on me?

    If burning coal, or anything else for that matter, is harming or killing why not sue the coal companies? Impossible because of missing proofs? If so, your claims of negative health effects are false. They are too big to sue? Then they are protected by the very same interest you claim is now doing something to help your cause: The Government (and a Federal in this case).

    See, if you are so sure burning coal causes birth defects or global warming you should be able to sue them. If you can't then there's something else wrong and you are barking at the wrong tree. Think about that. It goes for everything and not just for coal burning.

    December 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  62. JohnRJ08

    Let's me guess who opposes these new regulations.... Let's see... uh, I think it could the... Republicans? Do ya think?

    December 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • jean2009

      Yeah! It might cost one of their very wealthy owners to spend a dime. Greed over People isn't that what GOP means?

      December 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • dan

      No, John. Pragmatists and economists oppose these rules. I encourage you to remember your post as you will almost assuredly be the first one complaining about power outages and the rise in the cost of energy caused by those evil Republicans.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  63. Brucer1951

    So the EPA will see that the power companies controll the mercury emission from the power plants, yet we have to purchase light bulbs that contain mercury?? oh I see with out the powerplants we won't be able to use those mercury light bulbs due to the fact of all the brown outs across the country.

    December 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Matt C

      No, because of the new demand for Hg, we need to take it from the power plants. lol

      December 21, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  64. Dynahog

    H. R. 3630 passed 12/20/11. Looks like another amendment would work if the Senate came back to work with a compromise.

    The EPA is not entitled to go Helter Skelter writing rules and regs without Congressional oversight AND APPROVAL.

    December 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • 4sanity

      Actually the EPA was established by Congress to do exactly that – write and enforce emissions rules.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  65. Nick

    And the process of making energy more expensive, as promised by Barack Obama and his energy czar, continues. Our debt has increased by 33%; our energy costs continue to increase; the economic uncertainty remains at an all-time high. This may be change you can believe in, but it is a gross deriliction of duty and a prominent leadership void.

    December 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • 4sanity

      Are you kidding me ? You think that President Obama (or any President, Congress, politician) has control over the commodity markets – especially oil ?! The reason your energy costs are going up is because the human population is going up (demand) and we've surpassed peak oil production (supply). Short supply and high demand = higher prices. And here's a little prediction .... wait for it ..... ready ..... oil prices will continue to rise in years to come (GASP). And certainly faster if President Bachman ever were elected – there'd be panic buying !

      December 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
      • jean2009

        Thank you for sanity it is appreciated!

        December 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
      • Anil

        After reading some of these comemnts, I feel some of the essential points are lost amongst the bickering. For example, lets say we know that climate change is not happening for arguments sake. Now that it's settled , how then would anyone go about reversing the awareness of climate change that has reached the far corners of the globe? What's the message then? Hey folks, guess what, all the scientists are wrong, there is no climate change and you can go about your usual business, have a nice day. Do you think everyone would buy that after hearing what they've heard for the last ten years? No, convincing millions of people otherwise would be a very difficult task indeed. Still assuming climate change is wrong, is it then still a good idea to continue producing energy the way we are now? Probably not. If we are going to change how we produce energy, hopefully it will allow us to keep the same lifestyle we've become accustomed to and better yet if it can improve other's lifestyles with less pollution. Energy companies are the most powerful companies in the world, anything that might upset that power is going to be met with stiff and clever opposition. Nuclear advocates are in the somewhat precarious position of having to go with the flow on the climate change issue. If we come to the discussion table and say go nuclear because it have all these wonderful advantages, oh and by the way climate change is B.S. , then the opposition's response would be and should be a predictable well, then you're really not relevant to the conversation then are you, the technology you advocate is dangerous and you don't respect our values . So the way I look at this issue is that it really doesn't matter if climate change theory is correct or not, the shift to change our entire energy system is still in its infancy. Nuclear energy is very fortunate to have many passionate advocates, just as passionate as renewable advocates, and it had better use all of its marketing advantages now if it wants to gain a solid foothold on the future. The game is on, so get in the game. I'm not saying you have to sacrifice your value for truth in science or give in by saying the debate is over, but I am saying that some people come across as pedantic jerks trying to score points where it doesn't matter. Thus, Rod's point of the need to take effective action is a very good one. I think the lesson here for some people is learning which battles to pick. Choosing the wrong ones can easily undermine the sales pitch.

        March 2, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  66. MaryM

    Fine, all you against Mercury emmission regulations can go live by these plants and breath in all the carcinogens spewing out.

    December 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Ozzi

      I do live by these plants and have so for many decades. I'm fine. No breathing problems, no cognitive problems, no health issues at all.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • MaryM

      Ozzi, good for you. just wait until you are older. lol

      December 21, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
      • Scott

        You are quite ignorant Mary. Studies have shown the pristine West Germans had more breathing ailments than the polluted East Germans. More studies are showing that as we sterilize so much of our environment, our immune system is left idle to attack everyday items not rpreviously attacked. Think water and Montezumas revenge, think asthma, think peanut allergies.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
      • jean2009

        @Scott...in what universe do you live?
        Read...."Europe's Worst Pollution Pocket Found Above West Germany. Home to Germany's steel and coal industries, the area between Amsterdam and Frankfurt is the most polluted in Europe, scientist said. German researchers in Bremen based their findings on new, unique satellite data." @DW-WORLD.DE Deutsche Welle – Environment 19.3.2008 It is a longer article with several maps.

        December 22, 2011 at 12:01 am |
  67. Rainie

    NATURAL GAS IS 'DIRT' CHEAP AND WE HAVE VAST SUPPLIES OF NAT GAS -WHO NEEDS COAL??? When will we get the NAT GAS ACT passed so we can also stop using diesel???

    December 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • 4sanity

      It's a good source of energy but only if they enforce stringent regulations on "fracking."

      That would include:
      1) Drilling companies providing the exact formulations (ingredients, concentrations) of their fracking mixtures. You know things like toluene (carcinogen), petrollium distillates, nonylphenol (endocrine disruptor), dioxanes – all of which DO NOT get broken down rapidly in an underground environment (i.e. half-lives of >decades).
      2) Conduct rigorous seismic testing of the aquifers that they will be drilling through to determine the lateral and vertical spread of pollutants.
      3) Set up a priori a $100 billion insurance fund to compensate Americans when their containment fails, clean up is impractical and people are left without safe drinking water.
      4) Impose a carbon tax to compensate for the health effects/cleanup of their waste (CO2) produced.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  68. Nick

    As I say with every new regulation, follow the money trail and look who benefits. You think it's the American people? LOL. Vitually every study conducted by the EPA won't stand up to real scientific scrutiny, yet they are used to bilk millions out of more money on the basis of "it will make your life better". FOLLOW THE MONEY.

    December 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • 4sanity

      Every study conducted by the EPA is a scientific study. And the fact that it took 20+ years means there's been plenty of time to scrutinize the data. So what exactly is your beef ? You don't believe mercury is toxic, you don't believe coal contains mercury, you don't believe mercury emissions from coal power plants are a public health threat, or you think your power company can't afford to spend the money to install scrubbing technology ?

      December 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • paradocs

      Yes, do! FOLLOW THE MONEY. Multiple BILLIONS of dollars earned annually by the coal industry and electic utility industry. Several THOUSANDS (maybe a few million in 20+ years) of dollars in grant money awarded to researchers. Which has the greater motivation to lie? Which has the resources to lobby legislators and buy politicians?

      December 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  69. Atheist #1

    December 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  70. carly

    All those against these regulations please stand up! Surprise all the right wing GOPers. The same ones who are torturing the country on a daily basis with their obstruction of anything that protects or helps Americans. Esp. the middle class and the poor.

    December 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  71. Dennis

    According to the GOP, anytime a corporation has to spend a nickle on anything but CEO bonuses, it's a job killer. Phoney.
    These people will kill you off and never blink an eye on behalf of their bottom line. Ask Massey Energy what's more important, making coal or safety?

    December 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  72. joepub

    What a bunch of bologna!! I guess this administration never heard of naturally occurring coal seam fires. What stupidity.

    December 21, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Dennis

      and your point is?

      December 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
      • joepub

        My point is that this occurs in nature, yet there is this tax the problem mentality for something that is already in the atmosphere whether or not we are here.

        December 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  73. siuqram

    I'm wondering– what is a "premature" death? Someone who would've lived to be 73 but died at 71?

    Additionally, is it justified? 17,000 is a very small percentage of the US population 300,000,000)
    .00001%

    Does anyone else realize this? .00001% are at risk of premature death due the air pollution they're talking about in the article. I bet we have a better chance of spontaneous combustion.

    What do you guys think?

    Devon

    December 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • C-Lo

      Devon–I think, to further your point, how many pre-mature deaths would result in exposure due to families not being able to get the electricity they needed to stay warm in their homes when the coal fired plants shut down. How many premature deaths when a hospital loses electricity or accidents at dark intersections because of an unstable grid?

      If the sun ain't shinin' and the wind ain't blowin' neo-eco's are freezin' 'n' starvin'!

      December 22, 2011 at 8:45 am |
  74. slambert

    Do any of you really think these plants can afford to hire all these people its going to take to make these changes plus buy components without passing the costs off to us. Energy cost will rise, people will lose jobs and the economy will continue to suffer. The more we regulate the more. USA jobs we lose. The only jobs that will be created will be in another country. Simple

    December 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  75. Charles

    Why don't you rich Republicans come to Florida and catch some trophy bass. NO freshwater fish should be eaten from ANY stream, pond, lake, or river in ALL of Florida due to mercury levels. Skull and Crossbones danger signs have been posted at every body of freshwater in the Everglades (NOT a swamp, but is in S. Florida) due to mercury levels. Down there, sugar cane (we subsidize foreign sugar companies down there if you didn't know) is burned after the yearly harvest, and the mercury naturally occurring in the peat is converted to a form that goes into the air and comes back down in the rain and contaminates everything. The rest of Florida is contaminated from mercury emmissions from power plants NOT in Florida.

    Been to the Smoky Mountains National Park? The trees are dying due to pollutants from coal-fired power plants from the NE. Nutrients left–only Aluminum.

    Too bad our politicians won't be around to see the diaster they are allowing to happen due to pressure from big corporations and their own greed. Somewhere down the line, if anyone is still living, someone will ask "how could they have let this happen?"

    Anyone who wants to do away with environmental protection and the EPA should come on down South and drink water polluted from pesticides used on golf courses, water polluted from leaking underground gasoline storage tanks, or water polluted from oil drilling mud.

    Uneducated and greedy Republicans are only interested in having "none of MY MONEY" going to blacks or other minorities, the poor, and anyone not able to contribute to the Republican party. Republicans are the first to cut funds for education as their children go to private schools. They know that it would be rare for anyone in public school to become successful and contribute to the Party.

    With the approval rating of Congress at an all time low, I would not be surprised to see the same sniveling people re-elected so they can continue to do absolutely nothing but hold their breath and turn blue if they don't get their way.

    Totally disgusted, life-long scientist, have worked in environmental testing laboratories for the past 35 year, worked in the oil field–I have personally seen all the horrible chemicals that can kill everyone in our water, soil, and air. Why don't you non-EPA Republicans come to Texas or Louisiana and buid your new mansion on top of a defunct oil well drilling mud site and raise your pampered children there.

    We deserve the results of every ingnorant, sciene is the devil, decisions that these idiots continue to spew with little understanding of the problem and possible results. "Just go with your gut," and one doesn't have to look far to find those obese, red faced, big-nosed, triple chin swine in charge of the country.

    Go ahead and attack me–just to show everyone with a brain how ignorant you are.

    December 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  76. Joe

    The EPA is out of control. Every new regulation that they pass either kills businesses or costs the taxpayers. A lot of it is a way for Obama and his cronies to redisribute the wealth.

    December 21, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  77. Larry

    whay don't we just do away with the E.P.A. ?? that's why the Factories & the manufacturing sector is going to China, you idiots ! China & Indonesia does not have to worry about the EPA !! no wonder the Job Creators are going to other countries to make their stuff !!

    December 21, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • joep199

      I think cheap labor has a lot more to do with it than EPA regulation, Larry.

      December 21, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  78. Larry

    why don't we just do away with the E.P.A. ?? that's why the Factories & the manufacturing sector is going to China, you idiots ! China & Indonesia does not have to worry about the EPA !! no wonder the Job Creators are going to other countries to make their stuff !!

    December 21, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Dennis

      Ignore this dude, he's been eating too much fish full of mecury.

      December 21, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • ???

      (sigh) No...it's that the corporation tax (last I checked it was 32%) is too high to start a business. It is also that the other countries probably lack the oversight needed to regulate emissions coming from these companies. Maybe if we were to lower the corporation tax and enact regulations for pollutants being expelled from businesses, hopefully that will, in part, keep American companies here. As far as I can tell, I am not sure what other factors exist that are driving some of these businesses away.

      December 21, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
      • jean2009

        Maybe other countries would make these companies clean up their act, if there was a heavy import tariff placed on items manufactured overseas with a total disregard for the planet's environment.. That way it wouldn't pay for these companies to ship jobs overseas to escape EPA regulations. That makes perfect sense.

        December 22, 2011 at 11:54 am |
  79. m

    Any loss in jobs will come from a reduction in the health services community where lives will be saved.

    Put people to work producing scrubbers to clean-up the dirt these plants pump into the air.

    December 21, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
  80. Joey

    Mercury has been known to be a toxin for well over a century, the EPA is waaaay behind in this and should get part of the blame for the deaths caused. Saying "better late than never" won't bring anybody back to life.

    December 22, 2011 at 5:59 am |