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The world from dude's prospective. US politics, science and the environment, sports (mostly my beloved saints), and other worldy matters. After all, the dude abides....

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Environment - Suprise! Bush Stands by rejection of Greenhouse gas limits (i.e. Kyoto)

Big suprise here. His claims of cutting off 5 million US jobs are egregious to say the least. Carbon trading, as proposed in conjuction with new emission standards, would actually create market factors to control pollution and actually make the act of controlling greenhouse gas emissions profitable. You would actually create jobs, and the agricultural marketplace would benefit the most(and boy could it use it). Anyway, you can read more about it here.

BTW, also not suprisingly Bush's lapdog EPA head Micheal Leavitt totally agrees with him. Hmm, what a suprise with such a good record as govenor in Utah. Here is what Robert Kennedy had to say about him recently when interviewed by How has the situation changed now that Michael O. Leavitt has replaced Christine Todd Whitman at the EPA?
RFK: It went from bad to worse. Leavitt has giant social skills and charm, but his record is one of the most anti-environmental of any governor except for George W. Bush. The first thing that he did when he came into office was to dismantle President Clinton’s mercury rule. The same utilities that are discharging ozone and particulates, those same coal-burning power plants are also discharging huge amounts of mercury into our air, and the mercury ends up in the fish. Just a few weeks ago, the EPA announced its decision that, as a result of that, all fish in 19 states are now unsafe to eat because of mercury contamination. At least some of the fish in 48 states are now unsafe to eat. In fact, the only two states where they’re “safe” are Alaska and Wyoming, where the Republican-controlled legislatures refused to allocate the funds for their agencies to test the fish.
Today, one out of every six American women has so much mercury in her womb that her children are at risk for a grim inventory of diseases, including autism, blindness, mental retardation and heart, liver and kidney disease. My own levels of mercury are so high -- I had them tested recently -- that a woman with the same levels would have a child with cognitive impairment. The Clinton administration had classified mercury as a hazardous pollutant under the Clean Air Act, which triggered a requirement that those utilities remove 90 percent of the mercury within three and a half years. It would have cost less than 1 percent of plant revenue, and the great thing about it is that it works; we now know that when the utilities stop discharging mercury, that the fish downstream clean up almost immediately.
But this is an industry that gave all that money, over $100 million, to the president. A few months ago, the Bush administration announced that it was scrapping the Clinton-era regulations and substituting instead regulations that were written by utility lawyers, from the law firm of Latham and Watkins. Under the new rules, the utilities will effectively never have to clean up their mercury. And the chief lobbyist for Latham and Watkins was Jeffrey Holmstead, who is now the head of the air division of EPA. This is an example of how corporations have infiltrated our government and are dismantling it in order to privatize the commons.


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