Shutting down power plants: Imaginary benefits, extensive harm

Environmental Protection Agency Seal

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EPA mercury rules for electricity generating units are based on false science and economics

Guest post by Craig Rucker

The Environmental Protection Agency claims its “final proposed” Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) rules will eliminate toxic pollution from electrical generating units, bring up to $140 billion in annual health benefits, and prevent thousands of premature deaths yearly – all for “only” $11 billion a year in compliance costs.

This may be true in the virtual reality of EPA computer models, linear extrapolations, cherry-picked health studies and statistics, government press releases and agency-generated public comments. However, in the real world inhabited by families, employers and other energy users, the new rules will bring few benefits, but will impose extensive costs that the agency chose to minimize or ignore in its analysis.

Emissions of mercury and other air toxics from power plants have been declining steadily for decades, as older generating units have been replaced with more efficient, less polluting systems or retrofitted with better pollution control technologies. While a few older plants still violate EPA’s draconian proposed rules – the new rules are not based on credible scientific and epidemiological studies.

As independent natural scientist Dr. Willie Soon and CFACT policy advisor Paul Driessen pointed out in their WallStreetJournal and Investor’sBusinessDaily articles, and in Dr. Soon’s 85-page critique of EPA’s draft rules, US power plants account for only 0.5% of the mercury in US air. Thus, even if EPA’s new rules eventually do eliminate 90% of mercury from power plant emission streams, that’s still only 90% of 0.5% – ie, almost zero benefit. The rest of the mercury in US air comes from natural and foreign sources, such as forest fires, Chinese power plants and the cremation of human remains (from tooth fillings that contain mercury and silver).

EPA fails to recognize that mercury is abundant in the earth’s crust. It is absorbed by trees through their roots – and released into the atmosphere when the trees are burned in forest fires, fireplaces and wood-burning stoves. In fact, US forest fires annually emit as much mercury as all US coal-burning electrical power plants. Mercury and other “pollutants” are also released by geysers, volcanoes and subsea vents, which tap directly into subsurface rock formations containing these substances.

The agency compounds these errors by claiming fish contain dangerous levels of mercury that threatens the health and mental acuity of babies and children. In making this claim, the agency commits four more grievous errors. First, it ignores the fact that selenium in fish tissue is strongly attracted to mercury molecules and thus protects people against buildups of methylmercury, mercury’s more toxic form.

Second, EPA based its toxicity claims on a study of Faroe Islanders, who eat few fruits and vegetables, but feast on pilot whale meat and blubber that is high in mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) – but very low in selenium. Third, it ignored a 17-year Seychelles Islands evaluation, which found “no measurable cognitive or behavioral effects” in children who eat five to twelve servings of fish per week.

Fourth, it used computer models to generate linear extrapolations from known or assumed toxic levels down to much lower levels. Not only is this method contrary to sound science and epidemiology; it resulted in politicized “safety” levels that are twice as restrictive as Canadian and World Health Organization mercury standards, three times more restrictive than US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and four times tougher than US Food and Drug Administration recommendations. No wonder the Centers for Disease Control says blood mercury levels in US women and children are already well below excessively “safe” levels set by EPA.

Simply put, EPA grossly exaggerated the health benefits of its proposed mercury rules – and then claimed additional mercury benefits based on double counting of reductions in particulate matter. It also ignored the adverse effects that its rules will inflict. Not only is EPA’s anti-mercury campaign scaring mothers and children into not eating nutritious fish that is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. It is also raising electricity heating, air conditioning and food costs, impairing electrical reliability, costing jobs, and thereby harming the health and welfare of countless Americans.

Energy analyst Roger Bezdek has calculated that utilities will have to spend $130 billion to retrofit older plants – and another $30 billion a year to operate, maintain and power the energy-intensive pollution control equipment they will be forced to install. Moreover, under its MACT rules, EPA intends to micromanage every aspect of power plant operations. It will now cite companies for violations even if emissions fully comply with air quality standards, if operators merely deviate from new agency “work practice standards” and “operational guidelines,” even under unusual weather conditions or equipment malfunctions that are beyond the operators’ control.

While it is true that older power plants are more significant sources of toxic air emissions, those plants are mostly in key manufacturing states that burn coal to generate 48-98% of their electricity. Many utility companies cannot justify those huge costs – and thus plan to close dozens of units, representing tens of thousands of megawatts – enough to electrify tens of millions of homes and small businesses. Illinois alone will lose nearly 3,500 MW of reliable, affordable, baseload electricity – with little to replace it.

Electricity consumers could pay at least 20% more in many states within a few years. According to the Chicago Tribune, Illinois families and businesses will pay 40-60% more. That will severely affect business investment, production and hiring – and family plans to repair cars and homes, save for college and retirement, take vacations, or have health physicals or surgery.

Chicago public schools will have to pay an additional $2.7 million annually for electricity by 2014, says the Tribune. Hospitals, factories and other major electricity users will also be hard hit. Many poor and minority families will find it increasingly hard to afford proper heating and air conditioning. Further job losses and economic stress will lead to further reductions in living standards and nutrition, more foreclosures and homelessness, and additional drug, alcohol, spousal and child abuse.

The very reliability of America’s electricity grid could be at risk, if multiple power plants shut down. Brownouts, blackouts and power interruptions will affect factory production lines, hospital, school, farm and office operations, employment, and the quality of food, products and services.

The impact on people’s health and welfare is patently obvious. But EPA considered none of this.

EPA insists there was strong public support for its rules. However, its rules were clearly based on false, biased or even fraudulent information. Furthermore, EPA itself generated much of that public support.

The agency recruited, guided and financed activist groups that promoted its rulemaking. Over the past decade, it gave nearly $4 billion to the American Lung Association and other advocacy organizations and various “environmental justice” groups, according to a Heritage Foundation study. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and members of her staff also visited historically black and other colleges – giving speeches about “toxic emissions,” providing templates for scare-mongering posters and postcards, and making it easy for students to send pro-rulemaking comments via click-and-submit buttons on websites.

This EPA action does nothing to improve environmental quality or human health. In fact, by advancing President Obama’s goal of shutting down power plants and raising electricity costs, it impairs job creation, economic recovery, and public health and welfare. It is intrusive government at its worst.

It is a massive power grab that threatens to give EPA nearly unfettered power over the electrical power we need to support our livelihoods and living standards.

Congress, states, utility companies, affected industries, school districts and hospitals, and families and citizen groups should immediately take action to postpone the MACT rules’ implementation. Otherwise, their harmful impacts will be felt long and hard in states that depend on coal for their electricity.

___________

Craig Rucker is CEO of the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow.

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200 Responses to Shutting down power plants: Imaginary benefits, extensive harm

  1. Curiousgeorge says:

    More scaremongering from the E.P.A. intended to consolidate their power and keep the peasants in a state of abject fear and poverty. Bunch of self-important jackasses.

  2. crosspatch says:

    It seems like a futile move to me when most of our atmospheric mercury is coming from China which is completely out of reach of the US EPA. I don’t expect these changes to have any significant impact on US air quality, certainly not global air quality, and that emissions growth from China and India will continue to play the dominant role in global pollution.

  3. crosspatch says:

    EPA insists there was strong public support for its rules. However, its rules were clearly based on false, biased or even fraudulent information. Furthermore, EPA itself generated much of that public support.

    I don’t recall the issue of shutting of power plants on my ballot. When was this referendum? I seem to have missed it.

  4. Askgerbil Now (@Askgerbil) says:

    Forest fires are not a “natural source” of mercury emissions. “it comes from industrial …sources, often settling into soil and plant matter. Intense fires then release the mercury back into the atmosphere” (See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071017131817.htm )

    However, mercury emissions from coal-fired power stations have been identified as the single largest industrial source of atmospheric emissions in the US. (See http://www.csiro.au/Outcomes/Energy/Energy-from-coal/MercuryInExportCoals.aspx )

  5. Shanghai Dan says:

    Who cares if hundreds die during heat waves or cold snaps? As long as we avoid a few potential mercury poisonings a year, and make ourselves “feel better about the environment” doing it, we’re all on board, right?

    /s

  6. RiHo08 says:

    The endangerment finding, with its numerical health effects, used by the EPA to control carbon dioxide has no science basis. CO2 does not cause heart or lung or kidney, liver, brain, or whatever disease. CO2 does not cause asthma, cancer, childhood hyperactivity, poor school performance, premature births, etc. CO2 in concentrations of 5000 ppm in submarines is plausible to have an impact; its just not known as the science is…extremely limited. What Lisa Jackson demonstrates, is that she is a politician, no surprise, but not a scientist, nor science educated as one might hope to have reside in such an important air, water and ground pollution control position. There are many pollutants spewed into the air by coal burning power plants. Many of these pollutants do have health impacts although these pollutants by enlarge exacerbate existing human health conditions. These pollutants from coal fired power plants just don’t cause these human health conditions; the science on health consequences has to be extrapolated from other sources. Speculation about the health consequences of outdoor air pollution from coal fired power plants is entertaining. Along with some Seasonal rum and brandy laced egg nog while sitting by a glowing fire gives a warm and fuzzy feeling, the EPA’s health justification, saving 4000 new asthmatics from appearing on the health registry, is just a warm and fuzzy feeling.

  7. Jon says:

    At last you wake up to the possibility that WWF and Greenpeace has full radical control over your EPA?

  8. Smokey says:

    Askgerbil Now,

    Try to pay attention. You postewd a link to Austrailian emissions, which has no relevance to the EPA.

  9. Alvin says:

    It used to be that maximum emmissions were calculated and reachable with technology. Now, conspiring with marxists and environmentalists, their goal is ZERO emmissions which is not possible unless you shut down all industry and power creation.

    Once you realize their goals, it all makes perfect sense.

  10. crosspatch says:

    Forest fires are not a “natural source” of mercury emissions. “it comes from industrial …sources, often settling into soil and plant matter.

    I happen to live in an area with a high natural mercury content in the soil. Mercury was mined here during the California gold rush for use in separating gold from its carrier (mostly alluvium). The local streams and lakes have too high a mercury content to eat any fish one might catch in them. Places such as Stevens Creek Reservoir have large signs warning not to eat the fish due to high natural mercury content of the water.

    Mercury is quite a common element in many places in the soil. Many of these places have natural fires during periods of drought.

  11. John F. Hultquist says:

    The EPA no longer is concerned with science, health, and the environment.

    Solar, wind, and biofuels cannot be made cost-effective unless the price of coal produced electricity is made to “skyrocket.”

    The investments of elected officials and non-elected bureaucrats, family, and friends, will not produce outsized profits unless existing power infrastructure is destroyed.

    Which of the above statements do you not understand?

  12. Ian W says:

    Askgerbil Now (@Askgerbil) says:
    December 26, 2011 at 12:30 pm
    Forest fires are not a “natural source” of mercury emissions. “it comes from industrial …sources, often settling into soil and plant matter. Intense fires then release the mercury back into the atmosphere” (See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071017131817.htm )

    However, mercury emissions from coal-fired power stations have been identified as the single largest industrial source of atmospheric emissions in the US. (See http://www.csiro.au/Outcomes/Energy/Energy-from-coal/MercuryInExportCoals.aspxss )

    It is not identifying the largest anthropogenic source of mercury it is the identification of the safe level _and_ the effect of any new regulations. If the effect of the new regulation – even if it was a complete ban on any coal fired power stations – is totally insignificant and the safe level is not currently breached then it makes no sense to proceed. It is also indefensible that the same EPA that is frothing at the mouth in its eagerness to close efficient power generation due to mercury, is also making it a legal requirement that every home installs heated ampules of mercury vapor in every room of every house. The greatest source of mercury vapor will soon be defunct ‘curly’ light bulbs.

    The EPA is making rules to justify its own existence and is only allowed because closing the US power generation is seen as a political imperative by the current administration. They are making an end-run around congress to do so.

  13. Martin M says:

    I’ve commented on my local paper’s run on this item (a liberal paper). Part of the EPA’s justification was the assertion that lowering these levels would save up to 11,000 lives a year. The reality is that such a small number in a 330,000,000 population isn’t statistically realistic, and such regulation is way beyond breaking the law of diminishing returns. Forcing rate payers to shell out billions for plant upgrades that cannot reasonably be linked to positive results is unethical at best.

  14. Pat Moffitt says:

    Askgerbil Now (@Askgerbil) says:
    “Forest fires are not a “natural source” of mercury emissions. “it comes from industrial …sources, often settling into soil and plant matter. Intense fires then release the mercury back into the atmosphere”

    You should really read the paper and understand the error bars. The US emissions of mercury are a tiny fraction of the global natural mercury cycling. Ever wonder how mercury got into coal in the first place?

  15. Latitude says:

    Since the main source of mercury in the food chain is from sulfur reducing bacteria….
    …and the main source of sulfur reducing bacteria are rotting vegetation

    I say we drain all those swamps, estuaries, bogs, Everglades, etc

  16. alcheson says:

    EPA needs to be neutered. The EPA should not be able to enforce any rules or laws that have not been specifically directed by congress. Any rule that EPA proposes and wishes to enforce should be forced to be put before congress for a vote. Since when is it okay for the police to write and enforce their own laws? Our country has effectively been turned into a dictatorship! EPA has way to much authority, it must be reigned in by the next congress in 2012. That will only happen if we get rid of democrats control of the senate and WH.

  17. Camburn says:

    Mercury is a world wide traveler.
    The following link is just from China, and the prevaling winds drop a lot of this mercury on the USA.

    http://news.yahoo.com/chances-white-christmas-140008985.html

  18. Dr Burns says:

    Table 3.13 and 1.1 here
    http://www.chem.unep.ch/mercury/Atmospheric_Emissions/Technical_background_report.pdf
    … seems to disagree with some of the suggestions in the article.
    Total Hg emissions: 4.4 to 7 k ton pa
    Total anthropogenic 2.6
    Fossil fuel burning 0.8
    Cremations 0.025

  19. davidgmills says:

    My father was a PhD in biochemistry and taught graduate and medical school for forty years. He oftened complained that his medical students did not know near enough biochemistry. I learned enough from him to know that sometimes the wrong chemicals in parts per billion can be disastrous to health.

    So when I see an engineer or other scientist who is not even an MD making claims about the health effects of certain things, I am always skeptical about what they have to say. Things that make economic sense don’t always make health sense.

  20. Legatus says:

    Facts, in the USA, it used to be that we produced about 96% of all that we needed or wanted. As of 10-12 years ago, we only produced 36%, as of a year ago or less, we only produced 24%. This means that in only one decade, we lost a full quarter of our industrial production. This EPA rule will rapidly accelerate that.

    As we lose jobs, the tax base will go down. Our bureaucrats refuse to downsize when the tax base goes down, and in fact their pensions, salaries, pensions, benefits, pensions, fancy offices with ugly statues out front, and did I mentions pensions (paying them to not work) are going up at a rapidly accelerating rate. To pay for all that, taxes and licenses and fees (hidden taxes) will go up, further driving away business. many businesses will leave before they do, since they can see the writing on the wall, those that cannot leave will simply fold. I expect that now that businesses have seen this rule, many are planning their departure even now, and the rich are making travel plans as well.

    Do not expect the unemployment rate to go down, those jobs are simply gone, no longer even present in the USA, they are gone forever. One cannot get a job at a business that no longer exists.

    To get those taxes from an increasingly restive population and let the bureaucrats keep their jobs will take things like increased use of force, propaganda, silencing of dissent and speech, and the like. Essentially, this leads to dictatorship. To try an keep at least some industry will also take force. As the economy goes down, crime will also go up, the people will demand the government do something, and they will be only too glad to use increasing force, or more likely demand more power and money and then just keep it rather than actually do anything about the crime.

    As we deliberately (continue to) destroy the productive base that we spend over 200 years building, the US dollar will decrease in value since foreigners will see that you can’t buy anything with it since we produce nothing. Thus, we will see that we cannot buy anything here, since we produce nothing, and we will not be able to import either, since no one will want the dollar. We will thus see that we have deliberately and systematically turned ourselves into a third world nation. We will not be able to work our way up by our bootstraps either, for one thing because it took so long to get here in the first place, but the main reason is because we will still have the bureaucrats on our back dragging us down. History shows that revolting against them will usually replace one dictatorship with yet another, usually a worse one, example, revolutionary France, lost a king, gained an emperor and a war.

    In short, this rule will have effects that will accelerate beyond just the simple effect of the rule itself, and it will be worse than what one could calculate just from the effect on a certain number of power plants.

    A question, when the lights go out, will they go out in Washington DC, what about EPA offices everywhere? What does this tell you?

    The only hope for the US now is if we elect someone who eliminates this law, forever (if business sees that it is only delayed, they will leave anyway while they still can before it comes back). The EPA and bureaucrats do not wish that, and they may take action to assure that that does not happen. We can no longer fire government workers, it has become almost impossible, thus, we cannot actually control the EPA. If we use the only way we have left to control the bureaucrats, force, we have ushered in a dictatorship. Since we cannot now control them, being unable to fire them, we are in one already, only the magnitude of dictatorship is at issue, how much how soon.

    “How soon we forget history … Government is not reason. Government is not eloquence. It is force. and, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”
    -George Washington-

  21. Pat Moffitt says:

    Jon says:
    “At last you wake up to the possibility that WWF and Greenpeace has full radical control over your EPA?”

    The NGOs are merely extensions of EPA- look at them as the marketing and political action arms of the Agency. They also serve to expand regulator power through the courts. Better yet given the revolving door between EPA and the NGOs -think of this in terms of interlocking directorates.

  22. kbray in california says:

    Justifying and securing your government job/government grant by spinning facts to create an imaginary problem, is only logical, self-preservation-al, and appears to be pathologically endemic.

  23. ntesdorf says:

    A great article revealing how the ex-communist zombies and activists in the WWF and Greenpeace have taken complete control of the unrepresentative beaurocrats at the USA’s EPA?

  24. TheGoodLocust says:

    @Smokey

    Actually, he is referring to this sentence:

    “However mercury emissions from coal-fired power station has been identified by the USEPA as the single largest industrial source of atmospheric emissions in that country.”

    But he didn’t read it properly – note my bolded sections.

    It is the largest “industrial” source – but not the largest of all sources. Furthermore, it is either the largest industrial source that originates in the US itself or they didn’t differentiate between mercury from coal plants in China and those in the US.

    Essentially, they are using the language of propagandists – not technically lying, but wording it in a way that misrepresents reality to people of average intelligence and reading skills.

  25. johnboy11 says:

    Oh don’t worry..we can elect Romney..he’ll fix it all for you???

  26. StudioBronze says:

    Askgerbil Now (@Askgerbil) says:
    December 26, 2011 at 12:30 pm
    Forest fires are not a “natural source” of mercury emissions. “it comes from industrial …sources, often settling into soil and plant matter.
    =============================================

    Tsk, tsk, your ellipses obfuscated “Mercury does not originate in fires. Instead, it comes from industrial and natural sources, ”

    Alaska, which experienced vast wildfires from 2002 to 2006, released far more mercury than other states

    In contrast, states in the Midwest and Great Lakes emitted comparatively little mercury from fires.

  27. La Miya Casa says:

    May I ask you tell us what is the reason of numerous lung cancer reported in cities in comparison to rural areas?
    I drink daily, plenty of CO2 with my COCA COLA, I’m not worried about it.
    Man-made CO2 comes with lots of harmful elements. There is a limit over CO2 ppm of course, otherwise man would die because of the lack of oxygen.
    That’s why man-made CO2 in almost greater cities should be controlled not because of the CO2 itself.
    In undergrounds railways/metros, the direct Fossil Based Fuel Locomotives are strongly prohibited. The required power is gained from power plants located at outside the cities. In greater cities, heavy traffic condition is going to be the same as underground railways. Daily traffic regulations that are apparently considered for providing lighter traffic, have not been successful so far. In many cities around the world, local climate and geographical situation are making more difficulties for the residents. officially, the governments reduce working days of the weeks. Schools are closed until the air pollution is controlled. The solution here would be EV system automobiles or electric vehicles. As said above, this is not because of CO2 only, it is due to the other issues coming with CO2.

  28. ferd berple says:

    “Pat Moffitt says:
    December 26, 2011 at 1:22 pm
    Ever wonder how mercury got into coal in the first place?”

    That the EPA makes no distinction between toxic and non-toxic forms of mercury is equivalent to banning table salt because it is made from sodium and chlorine, both of which are toxic.

    The WHO reports that mercury from amalgam and laboratory devices accounts for 53% of total mercury emissions. WHO. (2005).Mercury in Health Care

    According to the EPA “logic”, tens of millions of Americans should have died as a result of mercury in filings, with billions of dollars in extra health care costs the result.

    Why has the EPA not moved against the dental industry to shut them down and fine them with billions of dollars in punitive damages? Why the selective targeting of energy production?

  29. This is obviously a complex issue in both scientific and social/economic political terms. Some coal does have mercury and other less then desirable stuff. Most do not. Much of this stuff is the precautionary principal taken to some absurd extreme. If I was a religious person I would be praying for god to save us from well intentioned idologs.

  30. Camburn says:

    Well, it would appear that we have other more pressing problems. But of course, they are not coal related:

    http://news.yahoo.com/us-cities-struggle-control-sewer-overflows-183924699.html

  31. A physicist says:

    Fundamental molecular biology, animal experiments, and observational studies all agree that mercury/metal and DDT/chemical toxicity are legitimate public health concerns.

    Skepticism that does not acknowledge this growing body of evidence cannot call itself “rational.”

  32. captainfish says:

    crosspatch said:
    “It seems like a futile move to me when most of our atmospheric mercury is coming from China which is completely out of reach of the US EPA. I don’t expect these changes to have any significant impact on US air quality,”

    Many of you are missing the point. The whole point of this, and now the role of EPA and the gov’t as a whole, is to limit economic development and to destroy private industry. This is nothing more than blatant Socialism and unconstitutional behavior by going around Congress.

    EPA shouldn’t even be a voice for change. Their job is to implement – not to promote and lobby. EPA has moved outside its mandate and needs to be sanctioned.

    Unfortunately, our government has turned to Socialism. Even some of our most strident Conservatives and Libertarians refuse or are incapable of fixing our ills.

    If we can’t even fix our lightbulb problem, we surely can’t fix our deeper governmental and economic failures. (OT: Heard the Solyndra employees received a federal benefits package post-bankruptcy)

  33. Pat Moffitt says:

    davidgmills says:
    “Things that make economic sense don’t always make health sense.”

    You could not be more wrong–“economic sense” and “health sense” are always the same thing. Consider if the Tribune is correct and electricity rises by 40-60% in Illinois. Money will be diverted from patient care to pay electric bills at hospitals. Many companies will move from the State or go under given the catastrophic rise in energy. The State will collect less tax revenues and therefore have less to spend on health care. The citizens will also become more impoverished which has a greater association with ill health than does mercury. We can also expect less energy to be used which should increase cold related deaths. And under the worst case scenarios of rolling blackouts we can expect any number of additional mortalities. And as people try to save money and lower energy costs we will see a tremendous increase in the use of wood stoves. The power loss on the east coast during the October snow storm showed that as people used their stoves in response to the lack of power that particulate air quality violations became numerous.

    And the easiest way to see this is a fraud– I’m sure your father would not have ascribed to EPAs claim that falling particulates and rising asthma rates over the last 4 decades justify further decreasing particulates to prevent asthma. C’mon doesn’t that make you just say WTF?

    The disconnect between economic and human health only seem unrelated when you don’t consider the perverse consequences.

  34. They want to stop a few ounces of mercury from US power plants. What about the tons from China?

  35. Zeke says:

    “Fourth, it used computer models to generate linear extrapolations from known or assumed toxic levels down to much lower levels. Not only is this method contrary to sound science and epidemiology; it resulted in politicized “safety” levels that are twice as restrictive as Canadian and World Health Organization mercury standards, three times more restrictive than US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and four times tougher than US Food and Drug Administration recommendations.”

    I need that computer model for a sec, to make a few quick calculations on the safe mercury levels resulting from a leaking or exploded CFL bulb in a carpeted 20′ x 20′ room. I hope it is a supercomputer for this one.

  36. Bill says:

    @ Askerbill Now

    Interesting that you chose to selectively misquote the article you linked to. It says the mercury comes from natural and industrial sources that are absorbed by trees and then released in forest fires.

    If we had more nuclear and less coal we would not have to worry about mercury from coal. But we would still have natural sources.

    In the past, the biggest sources were lead in paint which has gone down since the 1950’s and then lead in gasoline which has gone way down since the 1980’s so we are much better off already than we had been for the last 80 years.

  37. James Sexton says:

    Legatus says:
    December 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Facts, in the USA, it used to be that we produced about 96% of all that we needed or wanted. As of 10-12 years ago, we only produced 36%, as of a year ago or less, we only produced 24%. This means that in only one decade, we lost a full quarter of our industrial production. This EPA rule will rapidly accelerate that.
    ====================================================
    It sure will. This new rule will have horrible effects to the health of our economy and people. Poverty creates many more health issues than what little mercury we’ll pull out of the air. But, the people at the EPA know this. This isn’t about health, this is about the socialists pursuing their agenda of systematically destroying out industrial base. The EPA knows that we’ve already reduced coal fired air pollution 80% from 1970 with their other rule enforcements. In the mean time, since about 2000, we’ve seen a nearly 50% increase to our cost of electricity. There is nothing more restricting to an economy than restricting our energy.

    For those that wish to see some graphics with links to official government data for the pollution numbers, and costs go here…..
    http://suyts.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/epa-seeks-more-authority-to-destroy-local-economies/

    Our own countrymen and women exercising tyranny over U.S. citizens. These people have no shame, no conscience, and no morality.

  38. A physicist says:

    For a summary of available medical knowledge, see the recent comprehensive survey article Epidemiologic evidence of relationships between reproductive and child health outcomes and environmental chemical contaminants (available free on-line, with no paywall).

    This article aims to be a comprehensive survey, and is 146 pages long. Although this survey appeared fairly recently (2008), it has already been cited 86 times (that’s a lot). Thus, to a pretty good approximation, if a given chemical is not discussed in this article, then we don’t know much about it.

    Short summary: There is ample scientific evidence that power that is cheap at the plug can be exceedingly dear at the doctor’s office.

    The appropriate trade-offs are not easily decided.

  39. Dr. Dave says:

    I could MAYBE understand it if the EPA had gone after particulates emitted by older coal fired power stations. But mercury? Give me a break. Out of necessity I’ve actually researched human disease as it relates to environmental mercury. Outside a few professions like the old methods for gold extraction, gold inlay and hat making, it’s almost entirely BS. MOST of atmospheric mercury consists of methyl mercury and MOST of this is naturally outgassed from the oceans. True dat! Search through the wealth of information available at the SPPI website. Inform yourselves!

    Year after year am I am presented with strident calls about the dangers of mercury in vaccinations. So I figured it out one time. One would have to take 117 flu shots to equal the amount of organic mercury found in a single can of chunk tuna. Further the mercury in the tuna is methyl mercury and the mercury in the vaccinations is ethyl mercury which is eliminated much faster. Believe me, I could go on all day on this subject. We needn’t fear the dreaded curly lightbulb (mine end up in the trash…yeah…so sue me) and for the most part we needn’t be puckered up about environmental mercury.

  40. James Sexton says:

    Pat Moffitt says:
    December 26, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    davidgmills says:
    “Things that make economic sense don’t always make health sense.”

    You could not be more wrong–”economic sense” and “health sense” are always the same thing. Consider if the Tribune is correct and electricity rises by 40-60% in Illinois.
    ================================================================
    Bingo! It is poverty that kills. Always. These people making these wild assertions about our air quality and health seem to forget history. Electricity, mostly from coal fired plants, has significantly extended the life expectancy of every American.

  41. EPA–the most dangerous thing known to mankind.

  42. James Sexton says:

    A physicist says:
    December 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Short summary: There is ample scientific evidence that power that is cheap at the plug can be exceedingly dear at the doctor’s office.
    The appropriate trade-offs are not easily decided.
    ==================================================
    Allow me be a little more concise than the 146 pages. What was the life expectancy in the U.S. prior to coal fired electricity? Well, in the 1920s it was about Life expectancy: Male 53.6, Female 54.6; What is it today? Oh, about 75-80.

    I’m thinking the trade-off is pretty clear.

  43. Bruce says:

    Mercury belongs in the light bulbs in your kid’s bedroom, not in the air. Everyone knows that.

  44. Pat Moffitt says:

    Dr. Dave says:
    “I could MAYBE understand it if the EPA had gone after particulates emitted by older coal fired power stations.”

    The US particulate air levels are the lowest seen in centuries as a result of fire suppression. The 100,000 acre Pagami Fire in MN this summer caused air quality violations in Chicago some 500 mi away. However before the fire suppression era this area burned that amount every year AND more importantly so did 100 to 150 MILLION acres of prairie land.

  45. Pat Moffitt says:

    Bruce says:
    “Mercury belongs in the light bulbs in your kid’s bedroom, not in the air. Everyone knows that.”
    And given that the worst air quality is found inside our homes and businesses where we spend most of time- EPA funds efforts to reduce air exchange in building in the name of “energy efficiency.”

  46. D. King says:

    Quack!

    http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/mercury.html

    Are you scared yet?

    Boo…how about now?

    LOL!

  47. Peixoto says:

    From the third paragraph: “Emissions of mercury and other air toxics from power plants have been declining steadily for decades, as older generating units have been replaced with more efficient, less polluting systems or retrofitted with better pollution control technologies. While a few older plants still violate EPA’s draconian proposed rules – …”

    Can someone tell me how draconian and outrage-inducing proposed rules can affect only a few older [and almost certainly inefficient] plants?

  48. RiHo08 says:

    La Miya Casa & A Physicist.

    CO2 does not cause any of what you state as relevant to yourselves and others. Regulating the effluent from coal powered power plants can be argued favorably that it should be done. When CO2 and water vapor, two of the most effective green house gases, although they may play only a small role in climate change, are to be regulated, that is the nonsense. The use of the endangerment finding for regulating greenhouse gases is only a political issue. I repeat, CO2 and water vapor do not cause cancer, bad behavior of your teenager, asthma, whatever. There is no scientific paper to ascribe any health effects to the greenhouse gases CO2 & water vapor. Therefore the endangerment finding for CO2 & water vapor has absolutely no scientific basis and should be removed from the EPA’s regulatory purview.

  49. Camburn says:

    A physist@2:12
    Thank you for the link.

    I know that current EPA standards have greatly reduced Hg emissions. I live in a state that uses a lot of lignite coal to furnish power for neighboring states. The levels of emissions presented from the earlier link are very low.
    The ability of mercury to travel in the atmosphere, with its known health effects, begs this one to be an international controlled element.
    I would completely support an International IPCC type treaty to lower world emission of Hg. From what I have researched, it appears that the USA is by far the leader in controlling its emissions. So, in essence, when science is NOT in doubt, we remain a world leader and a very good neighbor.
    The current EPA regulations are nothing more than an indirect attack on coal burning power plants. The economic repercussions of this may be very negative long term. As we divert more resources to try and shut down all coal, we are loosing the battle because of other items that are more important such as raw sewage, drain sewage etc. Direct polution points in our rivers and streams.
    This is not good thinking, and extremely poor planning.

  50. Philip Bradley says:

    A physicist says:
    December 26, 2011 at 1:51 pm
    Fundamental molecular biology, animal experiments, and observational studies all agree that mercury/metal and DDT/chemical toxicity are legitimate public health concerns.

    Skepticism that does not acknowledge this growing body of evidence cannot call itself “rational.”

    As a physicist you should perhaps learn some chemistry. Your reference states ‘metallic mercury’ and since is appears to be a comprehensive list, we can presumably say mercury in compound is not a health hazard (in the context of your reference).

    All atmospheric mercury is in compounds.

    You might also spend some time studying the philosophy of science, with particular reference to why future knowledge is unknowable in the present. References to a ‘growing body of evidence’ is an unscientific appeal to future knowledge.

  51. Up until recently, the EPA has served a purpose, being instrumental in cleaning up a lot of environmental transgressions.

    However, like every other well-meaning agency, the EPA’s sole purpose of expansion and budget enlargement has come to the forefront.

    The EPA’s mandate is out of control and it must be cut down to size.

  52. Hang on a second. 12.5% of all US power plants already meet the regulation limits.
    about 63 or 10.5% of the older power plants don’t stand a chance. Most of those are already planned to be replaced. With the allowable time and the permissible extension, these plants will shut down on schedule. Most of the remaining power plants have access to available technology to upgrade to meet the new limits. Some just need co-generation which could be low temperature hot water for a variety of processes, like pulp which is overly impacted by the regulation.

    If you look at this right, the EPA just made coal clean technology. Get a fifty year grandfather clause for new plant starts and the anti-coal brigade will be singing the blues for a long time.

  53. old44 says:

    The EPA’s claims should be easy enough to verify, check “Cause of death, Mercury poisoning” on all death certificates for the last 50 years.

  54. dakotadude says:

    EPA is a good example of bureaucraticized science. Be it ionizing radiation (a subject I know a lot about) or heavy metals, the EPA always seeks to regulate manmade emissions at fractions of background with the same end result — whole industries (and, now it appears society) imperiled by EPA’s emotion-based regulations.

  55. Max Hugoson says:

    I had an ORGANIC CHEMISTRY Professor, who 30 years ago, explained that the “Mercury” in fish, is so TIGHTLY BOUND to the protein molecules it associates with, that it tends to “go right through” the human GI track.

    I thought that was an exaggeration, but then over the years I found more and more evidence it was true. THEN I found that some of the dried fish stores that Perry had on his trip to the Pole had been found. Someone had the presence of mind to analyse. Hg concentration? Same as current fish. NATURAL PHENOMENON!

    I also remember the long article in the Reader’s Digest, a woman MD who had all these weird maladies, and in each case she discovered they had 4 to six meals of “oily fish” every week. She had them stop the fish, and BINGO, in a week or two..their symptoms all went away.

    I was INCENSED at this, that such POOR diagnosis and attribution was so casually thrown out by the RD (about the time they became bought out by Time or the like, and went LOONEY LEFT)…when a simple internet search at the time showed that the “symptoms” she had in her patients were TYPICAL of vitamin A poisoning.

    This Mercury thing is yet another symptom of “Utopianism”. Which will, if not kept in check, destroy all of us, in the concept of bringing “utopia” on Earth.

    Please note, this is the central element behind “communism” and “progressivism”. Deadly…and dangerous.

  56. GeoLurking says:

    Zeke says: December 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    “I need that computer model for a sec, to make a few quick calculations on the safe mercury levels resulting from a leaking or exploded CFL bulb in a carpeted 20′ x 20′ room. I hope it is a supercomputer for this one.”

    Maybe a little “back of the envelope” but not a super-duper energy mongering wizz-bang computer model.

    OSHA Permissible Exposure Level for Mercury is about 0.5 mg/m³. A CFL contains somewhere between 2 to 4 grams of Mercury. Break one and you have enough to contaminate (per OSHA guidelines) 4000 to 8000 cubic meters of your house.

    … and the envirostatists prefer that you stick these little chemical warfare bombs in all your light sockets.

  57. Rhoda Ramirez says:

    Camburn: Your desire to have the UN regulate our electrical out put and other manufacturing that uses Hg is admirable. /sarc

  58. pat says:

    The EPA is not run by scientists. It is run by political appointees of the most extreme nature. True believers have wheedled their way in because of their supposed knowledge for decades Single issue mental cripples.

  59. pat says:

    Max, here in Hawaii, women have been eating deep water fish for in excess of 1,500 years without any mercury poisoning symptoms. In fact the pre contact Hawaiian are often exemplified as having perfect health. They still do today. At a rate 5 times the next highest State. Fresh, canned, smoked, dried, and especially raw. In fact many babies start eating seafood as a first food. And I imagine the same is true for Eskimos and some Indian tribes today also.

  60. davidgmills says:

    At James Sexton and Pat Moffit:

    The key word was always. If it always made sense, drug companies would make those vaccines they have quit making.

  61. David says:

    Martin M says:
    December 26, 2011 at 1:21 pm
    I’ve commented on my local paper’s run on this item (a liberal paper). Part of the EPA’s justification was the assertion that lowering these levels would save up to 11,000 lives a year.

    Martin, it is not likely that one life would be saved.

  62. Dr. Dave says:

    GeoLurking says:
    December 26, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    OSHA Permissible Exposure Level for Mercury is about 0.5 mg/m³. A CFL contains somewhere between 2 to 4 grams of Mercury. Break one and you have enough to contaminate (per OSHA guidelines) 4000 to 8000 cubic meters of your house.
    =============================================================
    Actually, there are 4-6 MILLIGRAMS of elemental mercury in a CFL. Look it up. The much larger florescent tubes we have all grown up underneath for the last half century contain much more mercury and we’ve never been puckered up about it before. Get your facts straight.

  63. davidgmills says:

    @ James Sexton

    I would bet that the increase in life expectancy has a lot more to do with things like clean water, uncontaminated food, antibiotics, and other medical advances, than it has with heat and A/C.

  64. catweazle666 says:

    More Post-Normal science.

    http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/climate-change-and-the-death-of-science/

    Mike Hulme’s contribution is particularly eye-watering.

  65. John Cooper says:

    @Legatus Bravo, sir!

  66. Doug in Seattle says:

    Regulatory over-reach is the daily business of government agencies. There used to be checks and balances within the clean air and clean water acts to ensure that EPA regulations would not bankrupt the nation. These have been whittled away by the courts and congress to the point we are now at, where the EPA can do whatever it wishes.

    There will be no easy way of fixing the EPA. Since politicians never choose the the hard way we can expect no improvement.

    If I sound pessimistic, it’s because I am.

  67. James Sexton says:

    davidgmills says:
    December 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    At James Sexton and Pat Moffit:

    The key word was always. If it always made sense, drug companies would make those vaccines they have quit making.
    ========================================================
    Sorry about that, I looked at the statement in the context of the discussion. I’ll try to be more careful. :-)

  68. davidgmills says:

    @ David

    How the hell do you know that 11,000 lives per year would not be saved if Hg levels were lowered to the new standard?

    If we quit driving cars, about 35,000 people would not die in car accidents every year.

    The difference between the two things to a layman is that there is clear cause and effect with car accidents and no clear cause and effect as to Hg deaths.

    But to an expert in Hg poisoning, the cause and effect may be very clear. Maybe they know Hg poisoning when they see it.

  69. A physicist says:

    Dr. Dave’s post is entirely correct. GeoLurking’s figures were 1000X too large. Modern CFL lamps do substantially reduce mercury emissions, and that’s a fact.

  70. Chuck L says:

    President Obama couldn’t get Cap and Trade passed like he wanted ,so he is using the EPA to circumvent Congress.

    He is actually keeping a promise he made. (Sarc)

  71. GeoLurking says:

    davidgmills says:

    ” Get your facts straight.”

    And that justifies putting these little chemical bombs in your house?

    Riiight.

    BTW, I’ve seen it listed as both grams and milligrams.

  72. Zeke says:

    Dr. Dave says:
    December 26, 2011 at 4:06 pm
    “The much larger florescent tubes we have all grown up underneath for the last half century contain much more mercury and we’ve never been puckered up about it before. Get your facts straight.”

    The florescent tube lights were largely used in office buildings, and sometimes in homes, but – to get our facts straight – they were placed in recessed light fixtures with a stout covering, specially designed to turn yellow and catch flies. The CFLs in their curly incarnation – to get our facts straight – are not supposed to be in any recessed fixtures and are not supposed to have any covering. They are not for use in lamps or with rheostats; and yet this is where we find these lights being used.

    We further straighten our facts when we notice that the danger levels for mercury vary from state to state. A recent news story puts it this way:

    “A break in the house could result in mercury levels in “excess of 6 times [Maine]‘s“safe” level for mercury contamination of 300 billionths of a gram per cubic meter.” We tweak this with EPAs new safety standards which they have recently imposed and you will see I was right. We really do need a supercomputer to calculate the risks from the Hg in a CFL.

  73. GeoLurking says:

    Florescent Bulb Recycling Tips

    Jun 15, 2011 | By Emily Beach
    Florescent Bulb Recycling Tips Photo Credit hand holding a cfl and incadescent lightbulb image by Silverpics from Fotolia.com

    Fluorescent bulbs reduce energy consumption and lower operating expenses for homes and businesses. Unfortunately, these bulbs also contain between 3.5 and 15 grams of mercury each, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA says if you throw a fluorescent bulb in the trash, this mercury eventually ends up in groundwater supplies and even in the air you breathe, where it can harm health and the environment. Recycling captures this mercury for reuse and helps to protect the Earth and your family.

    Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/209918-florescent-bulb-recycling-tips/#ixzz1hgxare2Q

  74. ChrisM says:

    At Ngawha in New Zealand, the mercury from natural geothermal hot springs emissions were enough to enable it to to be accumulate as lumps in the moss growing in residents’ roof gutters. The hot water in the springs was reknown for its curative properties. When the health risks were raised, the answer was simple. The government built a prison there.
    Life expectancy in tthe area is lower than average but that is more from lifestyle problems relating to obesity and poverty, that to enironmental pollution..

  75. Ric Werme says:

    Once upon a time, my daughter came home with a school assignment to bring in five samples of different metals – I immediately thought copper water pipe, and them my father’s old piece of silver waveguide (another sort of pipe), and then my eyes lit up.

    In addition to the pound or two of mercury in a high power switch component I pulled from a computer being scrapped (back when computers weighed a ton), I had a film can and in that a little glass container with a snap on lid. Inside the container was mercury from a thermometer my daughter broke when she was little.

    I wrote Hg on top of the film can, and nearly gave it to my daughter when I realized the better hack was to leave the mercury at home, so gave her the empty film can with instructions to be sure the teacher saw the “Hg”. Worked great – the teacher told my daughter “Don’t open that!” and took it from her but quickly realized it was too light to hold anything interesting.

    Ultimately – I used to have two of those switches – the teacher has one of them now.

    I keep all that stuff in the box marked “Heirloom Chemicals” – silicon wafers, tungsten turnings, uranium (mostly non-worrisome varieties), and other stuff that may encourage my daughter to keep me healthy and alive as long as possible. :-)

  76. Walter Cronanty says:

    davidgmills says:
    December 26, 2011 at 4:18 pm
    “I would bet that the increase in life expectancy has a lot more to do with things like clean water, uncontaminated food, antibiotics, and other medical advances, than it has with heat and A/C.”
    And I bet that “clean water, uncontaminated food, antibiotics, and other medical advances” have a lot more to do with cheap energy than you’ll ever admit.

  77. ChE says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_hatter_disease

    It would appear that the risk from Hg isn’t so much death as becoming an environmentalist.

  78. Rob Huber says:

    Askgerbil Now (@Askgerbil) says:
    “Forest fires are not a “natural source” of mercury emissions. “it comes from industrial …sources, often settling into soil and plant matter.”

    If the above statement is true, then how did mercury get into the plant matter that formed coal in the first place?

  79. Don Penim says:

    Clams?…

    Moderator: Typo in the first sentence of this post???

    “The Environmental Protection Agency clams its “final proposed” Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) rules will eliminate toxic pollution from electrical generating units,

    Claims – not clams?

    [Fixed, thanks. ~dbs, mod.]

  80. James Sexton says:

    davidgmills says:
    December 26, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    @ James Sexton

    I would bet that the increase in life expectancy has a lot more to do with things like clean water, uncontaminated food, antibiotics, and other medical advances, than it has with heat and A/C.
    =============================================================
    That’s probably true. But, food storage, clean water, medical advances, antibiotics……. all made possible by firing up the coal plants.

  81. Curiousgeorge says:

    @ Ric Werme says:
    December 26, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Once upon a time, my daughter came home with a school assignment to bring in five samples of different metals – I immediately thought copper water pipe, and them my father’s old piece of silver waveguide (another sort of pipe), and then my eyes lit up.
    ========================================================

    And let us not forget all that lead that many of us keep on hand in little boxes. Perhaps someday to be donated to deserving party or parties. ;)

  82. Bill H says:

    so lets shut down our power plants so food can spoil, hospitals can have people die, and the general public are without its use… then force the use of mercury filled bulbs so that if one breaks you get 15 years of exposure in one inhalation… for you kids to deal with daily….

    this makes no sense to anyone with functioning brain cells…

    so which is it ??? bad or good???

    these fools want it both ways…. GE gets rich from the bulbs and Liberals get rich from their kickbacks in green companies that fail in 6 months…… one need only follow the money to realize this is about consolidation of power…

  83. Mark T says:

    Thanks for pointing out the faithful’s absurdity, Walter. I was hoping I wasn’t the only one that noticed.. Some people simply need repeat visits from a clue bar.

    Mark

  84. johanna says:

    davidgmills says:
    December 26, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    @ David

    How the hell do you know that 11,000 lives per year would not be saved if Hg levels were lowered to the new standard?

    If we quit driving cars, about 35,000 people would not die in car accidents every year.

    The difference between the two things to a layman is that there is clear cause and effect with car accidents and no clear cause and effect as to Hg deaths.

    But to an expert in Hg poisoning, the cause and effect may be very clear. Maybe they know Hg poisoning when they see it.
    ————————————————————–
    It is quite likely that if ‘we’ (I presume you mean US citizens) stopped driving cars there would be less deaths from road accidents. I am not sure whether you include trucks in your figures, but am guessing you refer to all kinds of road accidents. I say ‘less’ because horse drawn vehicles and bicycles have accidents too.

    Now, how many people would die if there were no cars to get either patients or staff to hospitals? If road transportation was not available to deliver food everywhere and medicines from factories to warehouses to hospitals? I could go on, but hopefully you are getting the drift. All actions have costs and benefits. This EPA initiative appears to be heavy on costs and very light – to put it charitably – on benefits.

    As for ‘experts’ knowing Hg poisoning when they see it, one hopes that they do. But the EPA’s calculations in these matters are not based on real people. It is all done with models, which is not surprising as cases of demonstrable Hg poisoning are very rare indeed.

  85. John Brookes says:

    Its important to fight the EPA on every level. They have no interest in actually making the environment safer. If they did, they would ban cigarettes. No, its all about political power and control. Today mercury from power station, tomorrow, who knows?

  86. Mark T says:

    Wow, gerbil. Talk about myopic.

    Mark

  87. Askgerbil Now (@Askgerbil) says: December 26, 2011 at 12:30 pm re plants as a source of mercury.
    You kill your own argument. The second reference notes that mercury in coal comes from plants, etc. Since it got into plants in pre-industrial days, it will be getting into plants today, will it not?
    I studied mercury accumulation in the human food chain in my postgrad years. It is a very complex subject in which gross simplifications are, as usual, unacceptable.

  88. old engineer says:

    Dr. Dave says:
    December 26, 2011 at 2:14 pm
    “I could MAYBE understand it if the EPA had gone after particulates emitted by older coal fired power stations.”
    ============================================================================
    Dr. Dave-
    The EPA as “been after” particulates for almost 40 years. Particulates were one of the original criteria pollutants.
    For counties in the U.S. that are don’t meet the ambient air quality standard (AAQS) for PM10 (particulate matter under 10 microns in size) see:
    http://www.epa.gov/oar/oaqps/greenbk/mappm10.html

    For U.S. counties that don’t meet the 2006 PM2.5 (particulate under 2.5 microns) AAQS see:
    http://www.epa.gov/oar/oaqps/greenbk/mappm25_2006.html

    The PM 2.5 standard is the more important since particles 2.5 microns and less can get down into the lungs.
    The take away from these maps is that there are only a few areas in the whole country that don’t meet the ambient air particulate standards.

  89. Mark T says:

    Rather naive there, johanna. He is not capable of “getting the drift,” uless it supports his foregone conclusions. Facts are irrelevant when ideology is at play. Such people suffer immensely if (when) the bubble finally bursts. The psychological impact certainly qualifies as punishment, albeit harsh.

    Mark

  90. Sparks says:

    Are the planets best and brightest at it again? LMGDMFAO

  91. James Fosser says:

    My family and I have looked at this sad planet and booked a one way passage to Alpha Centauri B 1V! At the moment there are no humans on the planet, but shortly we expect about 7 billion or so and so. We just hope that the so and so stay on Earth with the mess that they have created! (We are told that for six months of the year the sky is lit with light from Alpha Centauri A that is equal to thousands of full moons. We should be able to read at midnight out on the front porch).

  92. Ric Werme says: December 26, 2011 at 5:01 pm Heirloom chemicals.

    Coincidence! I keep a collection also. Some of the most beautiful photos I have ever seen were from secondary uranium minerals exposed to ultra violet light, giving fluorescence. Some is a similar colour to that object that Homer Simpson finds in his shirt while driving home. At school we used to play with kilos of mercury at a time (spread through a class of about 50) and inevitably some spilled on the floor, every time. The more adventurious used to try to make fulminate.
    I can’t speak for myself, but these huge dollops of mercury appear not to have harmed my schoolmates of all those years ago.
    It was once stated that poliomyelitis was a disease of the cleanly people. Smallpox incidence was probably reduced in history by prior cowpox caused by playing in the muck and mystery. Sometimes it seems the EPA forgets that immune systems need to be challenged, sometimes, to toughen up.

  93. DirkH says:

    davidgmills says:
    December 26, 2011 at 4:30 pm
    “If we quit driving cars, about 35,000 people would not die in car accidents every year.”

    What do you suggest; horse buggies?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_horse_accidents

  94. A physicist says: Modern CFL lamps do substantially reduce mercury emissions, and that’s a fact.

    No, you have to take pathways into account. If Hg emission from any source never passes into a person, in the extreme logical case, then it’s a bit pointless getting worked up about emissions. Now show me that CFLs do reduce the amount of mercury entering the average human body, then perhaps go on to the toxicity of various chemical forms … There are lifetimes of work to be done before you can validate your generalisation.

    Have you noted how the waiting rooms of hospitals are crammed with people asking where to join the line for mercury poisoning?

  95. TRM says:

    If you burn coal in a pure oxygen environment you get just water vapor and CO2 outputs. Now if they could get their heads out of their behinds on the CO2 issue (the water vapor is easy to condense) and let them do it we would not have this problem. Once again a technical solution to a problem is found IF we can get over the “CO2 is evil” nonsense.

    As to generating a pure oxygen environment which used to be very energy intensive we have yet another technical solution. Ceramic tubes that allow oxygen through

    http://www.physorg.com/news105326696.html

    This is all 5+ year old technology. Can somebody please teach the EPA to use Google? Maybe we should all send them the site link with “Let Me Google That For You” (truly funny idea).

    http://lmgtfy.com/

  96. Ed_B says:

    We are such sissies today..

    Didn’t every boomer have a small container of mercury that they would rub on pennies to try to pass them off as dimes?

    Truth be told, I had my dads box of dynamite to play with. I tested one stick by shooting a 22 thru it. Nothing happened. However, when you stuck a ‘cap’ into it, with a long fuse, you could blow up any tree stump. Just be sure to dodge incoming debris if you are within a hundred yards. Loved the smell of dynamite!

    Since we have become urbanized, we have become a nation of sissies, and the EPA is out of control. I would close the EPA, as it has had 40 years of functioning, and the air quality is quite acceptable. Let the States take over.

  97. charles nelson says:

    Is this the same ‘mercury’ that is used worldwide in Amalgam Fillings?
    Just curious….do the EPA powers and regulations cover the inside of our mouths?
    We know that we breath out the dreaded CO2…now we’re exhaling ‘toxic’ mercury fumes…
    seems like human beings are just plain evil.

  98. Bruce says:

    PM 2.5 standards are a cruel ugly evil joke, since 90% or more of PM 2.5 comes from DIRT ROADS!!!

    “The particular type of emissions that gets talked about now as the main health concern is called PM2.5, or ultra-fine particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter. According to Environment Canada’s emissions inventory, Ontario’s coal-fired power plants released 699 tonnes of PM2.5 in 2009. Is that a lot?

    According to Environment Canada, dust from unpaved roads in Ontario puts a whopping 90,116 tonnes of PM2.5 into our air each year, nearly 130 times the amount from coal-fired power generation.

    Using the Clean Air Alliance method for computing deaths, particulates from country-road usage kills 40,739 people per year, quite the massacre considering there are only about 90,000 deaths from all causes in Ontario each year. Who knew?

    http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/05/16/ontarios-power-trip-the-failure-of-the-green-energy-act/

  99. David says:

    davidgmills says:
    December 26, 2011 at 4:30 pm
    @ David

    How the hell do you know that 11,000 lives per year would not be saved if Hg levels were lowered to the new standard?

    Well Mr Mills, show me your power, in your own words tell me how the EPA came to the conclusion of 11,000 lives saved.

  100. Schadow says:

    Dang! Someone had to bring up the subject of cremation, crematories and amalgam. That warm process is specified for my eventual demise. If Lisa Jackson has her way, old Colonel Cinders may be out of business when the time comes.

  101. Mercury molecules? Seems to me, mercury, a metallic element liquid at room temperature, does not form molecules. It forms compounds with other elements. But it doesn’t exist like O2, for instance.

  102. aired says:

    The relationship between selenium and mercury in the body has become understood only in the last decade. It is not so much that selenium protects developing nervous systems from mercury, although that is part of the story. The more important truth is that excess mercury ingestion can rob the selenium that is essential for nervous system function and development. Most fish contain far more selenium than mercury. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson and her staff who are claiming a huge health benefit from controlling mercury need to look at the actual science, which is being articulated with the help of other government agencies (e.g., NOAA) and research institutions. See the following:

    http://www.undeerc.org/fish/pdfs/Selenium-Mercury.pdf

    http://www.undeerc.org/fish/pdfs/Selenium-Mercury.pdf

    The documentary at the last link makes it clear that limiting consumption of ocean fish (to limit mercury ingestion) by pregnant and nursing mothers, in accordance with US government advisories, has been detrimental to brain development of their children.

    P.S. I’m relatively new at posting, so please forgive me if the links above do not come in as “clickable.” You may have to cut and paste the addresses into your browser.

  103. Bruce Cunningham says:

    Shutting down existing power plants just to fight CAGW is a bad idea. Not building a new one in a developing country because it would emit GHG’s is being callous to the plight and needs of the poor.

    I think this video shows just how nice having electric power for light and heat and cooking really is to those who don’t have it. Making electric power far more expensive and less reliable than it has to be condemns so many to much misery. It doesn’t have to be.

    This video shows how slum houses in Manila that have no windows, are dark even in the day. To those so poor that they cannot afford electricity, even a little indoor lighting during the day is a blessing! Just a plastic water bottle, some water, and a cap full of chlorine bleach gives off the same light as a 55 watt bulb, for free.

    http://wimp.com/lightenup/

  104. daveburton says:

    GeoLurking wrote on December 26, 2011 at 4:54 pm


    Jun 15, 2011 | By Emily Beach.. Florescent Bulb Recycling Tips … these bulbs also contain between 3.5 and 15 grams of mercury each, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency…
    http://www.livestrong.com/article/209918-florescent-bulb-recycling-tips/#ixzz1hgxare2Q

    That’s nonsense. The EPA, says no such thing. Even they aren’t that incompetent. Dr. Dave & A Physicist are correct.

    I just weighed a CFL bulb. It weighs 54 grams, with most of the weight in the ceramic base. Do you really think that 6-28% of the unit’s total weight is mercury?

    Here is what the EPA actually says about mercury in CFLs: “On average, CFLs contain about four milligrams of mercury sealed within the glass tubing. By comparison, older thermometers contain about 500 milligrams of mercury – an amount equal to the mercury in over 100 CFLs.”

  105. morgo says:

    I can remember when we where at school back in the 50s and 60s we played with mercury in the science classes we took it home too to play with we should be all dead

  106. Pat Moffitt says:

    daveburton says:
    “On average, CFLs contain about four milligrams of mercury.”
    Well if this were CERCLA you would be screwed at this level and we can all probably count the days until some group brings a suit following a release of mercury in a home claiming CERCLA oversight. EPAs concurrence policy supposedly covering residential mercury.is as far as I’m concerned unintelligible. And we can expect that real estate transaction are going to have a “did you ever break a light bulb” question.

  107. a jones says:

    daveburton says:
    December 26, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    GeoLurking wrote on December 26, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Except the EPA is frankly lying to you.

    For 500 milligrams you would need a pretty mighty thermometer, perhaps weather men might have used such things, but not domestic or medical ones.

    Even a hundred years ago.

    And notice the reference to older thermometers. Yes indeed. But again exaggeration.

    You see here in the UK the NPL would for a small fee certify your thermometer for you. The fee was 2/6 when I was young. And for that you got a certificate of precision over the temperature range, the construction, mercury in glass, and the weights of the glass and the mercury. The latter to better than one percent.

    500 mg indeed, try closer to a tenth of that. THEN.

    Now I have a new medical thermometer which I bought some thirty years ago and calls itself the Rand Rocket.. All I can say if thinks it is a rocket it is an extremely slow one: about two minutes to get equilibrium. And it is difficult to read as well.

    But all that is fine it works in the end.

    And according to it’s leaflet it contains just one half a miligram of mercury.

    Kindest Regards

  108. SSam says:

    Pat Moffitt says:
    December 26, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    “… and we can expect that real estate transaction are going to have a “did you ever break a light bulb” question…”

    And if the answer is “no” then when mercury is detected who is liable?

    EPA’s statements are a;ways in flux to follow the political wind. Nothing about their actions are standard, and there is a perpetual supply of “studies” to support what ever whim they are following.

    The only thing the EPA is good for, is derision and hated. They have worn out their welcome and send mixed signals about “what is good for you.” Power Plants “baaaad.” Here, stick some more mercury in your house to save money.

    I think the movie “Ghost Busters” had the most accurate representation of the EPA in the character of “Walter Peck.”

  109. J.H. says:

    There’s a word for this….. It’s called, Ecofascism.

  110. Laurie says:

    Where did the EPA get “… nearly $4 billion to (give to) the American Lung Association” and other special interests over the last decade? I’d like to know more about that.

  111. ChrisM says:

    to answer Mike Bromley,mercury in small quantities is in atomic form. Once it starts to accumulate, it forms the metal we are used to. From memory, I think that was supposed to take about 10 atoms. It also forms a variety of molecules both the inorganic ones like the oxides and sulphides, as well as the organic ones like the dreaded methyl mercury. It can dissolve metals like silver and gold, but they are compounds / alloys.
    Metallic mercury is not the risk for it is relatively inert. It is the organic compounds that can get into the body and bioaccumulate causing all the problems.

  112. aeroguy48 says:

    EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and members of her staff also visited historically black and other colleges – giving speeches about “toxic emissions,” providing templates for scare-mongering posters and postcards, and making it easy for students to send pro-rulemaking comments via click-and-submit buttons on websites.

    Being employed at an aerospace manufacturing company and of course some fed money I have noticed in the last few years an agressive push for affirmative action type of hires over other more qualified, they almost immediately claim they got asthma working here, this has become annother way in their battle cry for getting free money.

  113. Larry in Texas says:

    A physicist says:
    December 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I second what James Sexton said to you in reply to your insipid contention that the “trade-offs” are difficult here. What decade are you living in? The 1940s or 1950s, when atmospheric pollution was worse than it is now (but far less than what it was in the 1910s and 1920s, as technology started to catch up with emissions)?

    The fact is, the air in this country is far cleaner, FAR cleaner, than it has been at any time in the history of this country. The primary remaining problem with air pollution these days is ozone, manufactured mostly in the summer because of automobile emissions (even EPA admits that background levels of ozone are considerable, 55 ppb or more; this is due in large part to volatile organic compounds emitted from plants), and I don’t see that problem being solved any time soon, unless you are going to bike to work or elsewhere.

    I will give some credit to EPA for the current state of the atmosphere, but I highly recommend to you the book “Clearing the Air: The Real Story of the War on Air Pollution” by Indur M. Goklany, who regularly posts at this site. As you will see, the solution to industrial air pollution was as much the responsibility of the development of technology by the private sector, if not more.

    As many posters here have recognized, there is NO SUCH THING as pure, pristine air. Every attempt to raise the bar in regard to pollutants carries with it a law of diminishing returns. The more expectations you have with regard to attempts at making the current already cleaner air even more “clean,” the more it is going to cost – and the less the benefit. Lowering the existing level of mercury from 0.5% is going to be a nightmare, and yes, with no appreciable benefit. There is only one motive that EPA has for continuing to ratchet up the already high, impossible bar in connection with industrial activity: to close coal-fired power plants altogether and destroy our economy on some crackpot theory that we have to get rid of coal and that it is somehow better for all of us to freeze or to have our power out. It is quite obvious that these new rules are going to seriously reduce generation capacity in this country, and is also going to make electricity much more expensive for those who can barely afford to pay their electric bill now.

  114. wayne says:

    I agree will most above ….. the bottom line….
    The EPA, the US Environment Protection Agency has become a large net killer of citizens.
    Defunding is in order, to shrink it back to it’s meaningful purpose. No more statistics. If no one can see harm, if no one reports harm, then there is no harm needing regulation. Eyes, not statistics. Same goes for harmless co2.

  115. markx says:

    Is there any reference regarding the $4 billion funding by the EPA to advocacy groups over ten years?

    I quoted it on another site and have been eating a lot of humble pie. It seems to be in error.

    “… The President’s 2012 Budget includes $9 billion (for the EPA) … ”

    They did spend US$0.68 billion in 2011 on R&D, maybe which was counted? It seems some of their budget is disbursed as ‘grants’ for projects, which apparently totalled $548 million in 2011. Training and awareness grants, fellowships and associated expenses only totalled $39 million in 2011.

    Further:

    “In the last 10 years, the EPA has given the ALA $20,405,655, according to EPA records.”
    http://junkscience.com/2011/03/15/epa-owns-the-american-lung-association/

    another “… the $5 million in funding it (ALA) takes from the EPA each year…”

    And I saw approx only another US$20 million went to “small environmental advocacy groups” over 10 years…

  116. Disko Troop says:

    One of my earlier business ventures at the age of 12 was to recycle the mercury in all the broken thermometers kept in a bin in our school chemical lab. This involved a Bunsen burner, a fire proof glove and a beaker to collect the resulting expanding mercury. Sound science in times of high scrap mercury prices I think you’ll agree. The resulting explosion rendered the laboratory block unusable for a week and my backside covered by the imprint of a school cane for a similar time. However I was not poisoned and my mental accuity remains at the level of an earthworm to this day.

  117. charles nelson says:

    Many years ago I had a little radio production company in london .One morning I arrived at work to find the street sealed off as a specialist team in funny breathing apparatus and large tongs went through my office garbage.
    I walked up to the spilt paper and picked up a letterhead.
    The company was called RadioActivity.
    The guy with the tongs asked did I have any radioactive materials in my garbage.
    Undereath the radioactivity logo which was eighties postmodern…..were the words
    Radio Production Services.
    Three vehicles and a cop car.

  118. dodgy geezer says:

    Askgerbil Now (@Askgerbil) says:

    “Forest fires are not a “natural source” of mercury emissions. “it comes from industrial …sources, often settling into soil and plant matter. Intense fires then release the mercury back into the atmosphere” (See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071017131817.htm )”

    Umm? The original quote was “The mercury released by forest fires originally comes from industrial and natural sources….”. You simply removed the ‘..and natural sources..’ and then presented the quote as showing that the mercury only came from industrial sources.

    This makes me disbelieve anything you say…

  119. George Lawson says:

    The greatest danger resulting from all these ridiculous so called scientific papers coming out from the Green movement and the AGW cult is the way that governments, especially in the USA and the UK, seem to accept the recommendations resulting from these flawed papers hook line and sinker, regardless of what detrimental effects ‘taking action’ might have on jobs and the economy. . Until we have governments that are prepared to take an open-minded approach and challenge the multitude of questionable papers screaming “We’ve got to do something no matter how much it costs and how much it injures our economy” then I’m afraid all seems to be lost,

  120. William says:

    The EPA coal fired power mercury regulation is a back handed method of increasing the cost of coal fired power to push green energy. As China is placing a new large coal fired power plant into service every week, total mercury exposure will not change as a result of the EPA regulations, as the EPA power regulations do not apply to China. The EPA power regulations also mandate a percentage of called green energy which is 2 to 3 times as expensive as coal if the cost of grid upgrades and standby gas fired power plants are included.

    The consequence of the EPA power regulations is power costs in the US will double and the remaining manufacturing jobs will move to Asia. Greenpeace and World Wildlife’s goal appears to be to transform the US economy into a version of Spain (28% unemployment of youth) with massive boondoggle “green” energy schemes.

    Enough is enough. We live in democracy. Let’s solve this EPA problem.

  121. Rik Gheysens says:

    1. I noticed the following facts:
    Coal-fired power plants were estimated in 1999 to emit about 48 tons per year, or over 40 percent of the U.S. inventory from anthropogenic sources. (Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, 2003, p. 2-1).
    In the United States, EPA promulgated a regulation in 2005 to reduce criteria air pollutant emissions from power plants, the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR). The U.S. EPA calculated the estimated costs and some of the benefits of that regulation. The CAIR rule is primarily aimed at reducing emissions of SOx and NOx from large coal-fired power plants, but as a co-benefit will result in reductions of mercury emissions. The CAIR rule will achieve the majority of its mercury reductions as a co-benefit from controls for SO2. Applying SO2 controls (or other multi-pollutant approaches) are more cost-effective at reducing mercury than direct mercury control. The co-benefits of CAIR were estimated to reduce mercury emissions to 34.5 metric tonnes in 2010;
    – EPA also promulgated the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) which was targeted to specifically further reduce mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. The specific requirements of CAMR were estimated to further reduce mercury emissions to
    13.6 tonnes by 2020. This could cost the U.S. electric power industry about US$ 11.3 billion. (UNEP, Report presenting the costs and benefits for each of the strategic objectives, 2008, p. 21)
    2. Mercury is also found in nature but reducing the anthropogenic emission remains a commendable initiative. But is it advisable to make this investments if other countries make hardly any effort to reduce the emission of mercury? The estimated global anthropogenic emissions of mercury to air in 2005 was (UNEP, Technical Background Report to the Global Atmospheric Mercury, 2008, p. 40):
    – 1,280 tons in Asia (i.e. mainly in China) (66.5%)
    – 153 tons in North America (7.94%)
    – 150 tons in Europe (7.78%)
    So, without international agreements, the mercury content in the air will not change a lot.
    3. EPA works with outdated figures to justify the use of CFLs. They use in their calculations the national average of mercury emissions due to the electricity production of 0.012 mg/kWh. Nowadays, when coal fired power plants emit still less mercury, it must be about 0.009 mg. In the long run, when virtually no mercury will be emitted by power plants, the mercury containing CFLs will still emit mercury. If they thought logically, they should ban without delay all CFLs, because mercury free alternatives are in plenty. It is incomprehensible that the government pays a high price (11 billion dollar) to reduce the mercury emission to air with several tons while the promotion of CFLs will bring yearly about 2 tons of mercury among the households and in landfills.

  122. Myrrh says:

    aired says:
    December 26, 2011 at 8:23 pm
    The relationship between selenium and mercury in the body has become understood only in the last decade. It is not so much that selenium protects developing nervous systems from mercury, although that is part of the story. The more important truth is that excess mercury ingestion can rob the selenium that is essential for nervous system function and development.

    I’ve read that it’s the lack of selenium in the body that’s the problem. When selenium missing mercury makes the connections that selenium would be making which is what screws the body, enough selenium and the mercury has nowhere to connect and is thus expelled. One only needs enough selenium to let it do its thing, greater amounts of mercury will anyway be unable to make the connections which some mercury is making through lack of selenium, so gets expelled. I’ll see if I can find any more on this. Brazil nuts.

  123. Bob Layson says:

    Reducing mercury vapour usage PER LAMP does not equal less mecury vapour with a chance of entering the air because of the present, and future, much increased use and TOTAL NUMBER of such lamps.

  124. TedK says:

    “James Fosser says:
    December 26, 2011 at 6:53 pm
    My family and I have looked at this sad planet and booked a one way passage to Alpha Centauri B 1V! At the moment there are no humans on the planet, but shortly we expect about 7 billion or so and so. We just hope that the so and so stay on Earth with the mess that they have created! (We are told that for six months of the year the sky is lit with light from Alpha Centauri A that is equal to thousands of full moons. We should be able to read at midnight out on the front porch).”

    A habitable planet orbiting ‘Alpha Centauri B’ you say? And you bought a ticket for you and your family? Interesting, I hadn’t heard about this plant so I checked the astronomy sites and NASA looking for the particulars. None found… There is a lot of speculation about the possibiity though.

    Speculation, hmmm, sort of like the EPA speculation formulas for figuring hazards from specific sources while ignoring other sources.

    If one were serious about living on a ‘new’ earth like planet, I would highly recommend looking for a solar system with a single sun. Suns with orbiting suns are likely to have highly disrupted orbiting bodies. Think frequent extinction events; our solar system is very orderly with minor disruptions of orbiting planetoids, asteroids and whatnot caused (thought to be) by a gas giant (jupiter). Your alpha centauri multi sun system will either be swept clean of orbiting bodies (unlikely) or will have multiple rings of orbiting bodies that are frequently affected by competing solar gravity fields.

    But, you’ve already booked passage; got any room for other pro (re:disappointed) EPA governance passionates? Maybe get a group fare?

    Have a nice trip! Since it takes so long to get there, I assume you’re flying (spacing?) soon?

    Don’t worry about us, we’ll be fine as soon as we return (reduce) government back to governance rather than finding nebulous reasons for tyrannical micro managing our lives.

  125. Peter Miller says:

    The problem is the Economic Punishment Agency has morphed from something worthwhile into a self-serving bureaucracy whose only intention is its own preservation and expansion.

    Like ‘climate science’, its existence depends on the continued manufacturing of unfounded scare stories.

    For those wanting to know more about mercury, this might help:

    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=mercury%20poisoning%20deaths%20statistics&source=web&cd=6&ved=0CFYQFjAF&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mercuryfacts.org%2FmercuryMyths.cfm&ei=bsb5TubmE4Lb8QPYqPikAQ&usg=AFQjCNFnvqde8aeB57XjABhPrEJcQQDRQQ&cad=rja

    The obsession about reducing minute non-dangerous levels of mercury has had a severe negative impact on the health of individuals living in the western world. Almost all environmental and climate science has now become a case of taking a non-story and turning it into a scary story. It is all to do with job perpetuation and comfortable lifestyles and almost nothing to do with science.

    As always: The solution to pollution is dilution.

  126. Mark T says:

    There is only one motive that EPA has for continuing to ratchet up the already high, impossible bar in connection with industrial activity: to close coal-fired power plants altogether and destroy our economy on some crackpot theory that we have to get rid of coal and that it is somehow better for all of us to freeze or to have our power out.

    As I recall, the bolded part (mine) is/was a stated goal of the Obama administration, maybe not in as many words.

    Mark

  127. Myrrh says:

    So how could you stop the EPA?

  128. Mark T says:

    The greatest danger resulting from all these ridiculous so called scientific papers coming out from the Green movement and the AGW cult is the way that governments, especially in the USA and the UK, seem to accept the recommendations resulting from these flawed papers hook line and sinker, regardless of what detrimental effects ‘taking action’ might have on jobs and the economy.

    Said governments are not simply accepting such recommendations, they are actually pushing the science behind the flawed papers that result in such recommendations. Governments are populated by the very same people generating the flawed papers. Indeed, this is what they want, nay, need: control. The consequences are not of consequence.

    Mark

  129. enneagram says:

    Democracy has gone too far, driven by the maddening idea of “not discriminating minorities” as to allow those totally unfitted to reach positions of decision and power. Thus the most complete menagerie of fools, idiots and sick people are dictating the laws and measures for the rest of the society. This is absolutely insane.
    An old spanish proverb reads: “Lo que Natura non da, Salamanca non presta”: “What Nature does not give, Salamanca (the academia) does not lend”
    Then, those sadly ungifted, who bravely struggle to attain a position in society ( we must recognize that), in this case getting and keeping a job in government, academia, official agencies,etc. affirm themselves by believing in what the foolest among themselves have concocted, and to avoid any doubts on their proficiency and expertise, establish them as “consensual truths” reinforced by mutual caressing and indulging.
    It is funny to observe that their epistemology does not include intuition (their stomachs are too busy digesting trash food or going after the next girl who crosses their field of sight, that it is impossible for them to perceive anything of a higher energetic order) thus their whole intellectual activity is limited to counting and naming, being their favorite method that of statistics, commonly performed by politically convenient “programmed artificial brains”-“super computers”- (their biology did not included such an apparatuses working in the upper part of their bodies).
    So the time has arrived to put things on place before it is too late.

  130. Myrrh says:

    What the EPA is doing is part of the long term plan by some whose front-man is Maurice Strong, now living in China.

    Frankly, we may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrial civilization to collapse.” -Maurice Strong quoted in the September 1, 1997 edition of National Review magazine.

    http://soldierforliberty.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/maurice-strong-man-behind-agenda-21-part-2/

    More can be found on Strong’s background and connections and background to the ideology which is driving this, some links here: http://smashabanana.blogspot.com/2011/12/united-nations-official-maurice-strong.html
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2507419/posts

    What really has to be taken on board here, is these people are serious and in powerful positions and have control of main stream media. To change anything here re the EPA isn’t going to be a walkover..

    Until enough people in populations around the world have information about this, the complicity of world governments in this agenda isn’t going to be appreciated. Take OZ for example, people think they can vote in an alternative view and overturn the billions of dollars hand out from OZ to China, but governments have been taken over by those promoting the agenda, it doesn’t make any difference who is voted in, they will be nobbled, indoctrinated.

    There’s a video somewhere of Gordon Brown giving a speech in OZ, he mentions ‘new world order’ and derivatives a dozen times in as many minutes – not a phrase he had ever used before his sudden elevation to PM, no record of any such words or ideas in Hansard.

    We’re all effectively without governments representing us the ordinary people..

  131. Curiousgeorge says:

    @ William says:
    December 27, 2011 at 2:48 am

    Enough is enough. We live in democracy. Let’s solve this EPA problem.
    ====================================================
    I agree. We should ‘set them free’ of the terrible burden of caring for our welfare.

  132. Justa Joe says:

    davidgmills says:
    “Things that make economic sense don’t always make health sense.”
    —————————————–
    It seems like Obama’s one time Health ‘Czar’ disagrees with you.

    “You could have protected the wealthy and the well, instead of recognizing that sick people tend to be poorer and that poor people tend to be sicker, and that any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized, and humane must – must – redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and less fortunate. Excellent healthcare is by definition redistribution. Britain, you chose well. … “

  133. Walter Cronanty says:

    Ed_B says:
    December 26, 2011 at 7:20 pm
    “We are such sissies today..
    Didn’t every boomer have a small container of mercury that they would rub on pennies to try to pass them off as dimes?”

    First, yes I rubbed mercury on pennies. Wonderful shine.
    Second, yes we are a nation of sissies. I’ve often said that if this generation landed at Plymouth Rock, we never would have made it past the seashore. Can you imagine trying to move west in covered wagons? All of the children would have had to wear helmets, knee and elbow pads and gloves to protect them from when they fell out of the wagon – of course they shouldn’t fall out because they would have had to have strapped in to their children’s protective seats. And the filth and germs produced by our mode of transportation, not to mention the methane. The green weanies would have had us all back on boats to the Mother Country, all to live in exquisitely equal squalor and misery, except of course, for our betters like AlGore and government bureaucrats.

  134. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    The EPA doesn’t do Cost Benefit Analysis.

    The EPA does Rigged Justification Analysis.

  135. Walter Cronanty says:

    “Mark T says:
    December 27, 2011 at 5:40 am

    There is only one motive that EPA has for continuing to ratchet up the already high, impossible bar in connection with industrial activity: to close coal-fired power plants altogether and destroy our economy on some crackpot theory that we have to get rid of coal and that it is somehow better for all of us to freeze or to have our power out.

    As I recall, the bolded part (mine) is/was a stated goal of the Obama administration, maybe not in as many words.”

    Mark T, your memory is correct, but it was in the context of cap-and-trade/CO2 reduction –
    “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.” January 2008 Obama quote from interview with SF Chronicle.
    Let’s see, shut ‘em down because of cap-and-trade/carbon emissions, or shut em down because of mercury emissions. You say toma[y]to, I say toma[h]to. Just as long as we shut ‘em down.

  136. Viv Evans says:

    Just an aside:
    have you noticed hw more and more rules, directives, regulations and laws are being introduced by governments and national entities because ‘this will save xxx lives/premature deaths’?
    Never mind that these directives/rules etc are curtailing economic activities,costing huge amounts of money, and in the worst cases affect civil liberties …

  137. Olen says:

    Despotism: abuse of power: cruel and arbitrary use of power. There are many other definitions but this will do.

  138. beng says:

    This has got me boiling, so I’ll save the mod’s time & self-snip most of my post.

    The EPA demonstrates a compulsive/obsessive disorder — hair-splitting to finer and finer levels, ad infinitum, regardless of the cost/benefit ratio. They don’t know when to stop.
    They are out of control, to the point of absurdity.

  139. DirkH says:

    Found an interesting graph on wikipedia : mercury deposition in a Wyoming glacier ice core.
    Notice the spikes caused by larger volcanic eruptions.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mercury_fremont_ice_core.png
    Found in this context:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_(element)#Releases_in_the_environment

  140. Pat Moffitt says:

    I am reminded of this quote from P.J. O’Rourke:
    “The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop”

  141. Peter says:

    Been waiting for a thread to post t his to.

    http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff500/fv00459.htm

  142. Ian L. McQueen says:

    I was interested by: “The agency recruited, guided and financed activist groups that promoted its rulemaking. Over the past decade, it gave nearly $4 billion to the American Lung Association and other advocacy organizations and various “environmental justice” groups, according to a Heritage Foundation study.” This helps explain to me why the New Brunswick Lung Association is so active in AGW and related matters.

    IanM

  143. The agency recruited, guided and financed activist groups that promoted its rulemaking. Over the past decade, it gave nearly $4 billion to the American Lung Association and other advocacy organizations and various “environmental justice” groups, according to a Heritage Foundation study. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and members of her staff also visited historically black and other colleges – giving speeches about “toxic emissions,” providing templates for scare-mongering posters and postcards, and making it easy for students to send pro-rulemaking comments via click-and-submit buttons on websites.

    Frankly, I’d be a litle happier if the author had provided a reference or link to that Heritage Foundation study. I’m also not sure what the reference to the historically black and other colleges is intended to convey.

  144. Walter Cronanty says:

    Here is the quote, in context, from the study and illustrates how the EPA is buying support from the ALA:
    “As we search for means to cut Washington’s waste, grants like the one to LVEJO should move to the front of the line, where it should have lots of company. According to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, there are 2,141 federal grant programs with some 109 coming out of the EPA. By the EPA’s own grant database, over the last ten years, the agency has bellied up to the bar and bought drinks for many of its friends at the taxpayers’ expense. Within the past decade, the EPA awarded or continues to have open more than 7,500 grants, totaling $3,847,160,250 to non-profit groups alone.

    While some EPA grant recipients like the American Lung Association may seem more palatable than LVEJO, many have shown themselves to be reliable reactionaries for the EPA. The American Lung Association recently came to the agency’s defense, stating:

    Polluters and some members of Congress want to interfere with EPA’s ability to protect public health. Most Americans believe that the Clean Air Act needs protecting. We are fighting hard to prevent anyone from weakening or undermining the law or the protective standards the law provides. We are fighting to ensure EPA has the legal authority and necessary funding to continue to protect public health.”

    Exactly what kind of nefarious plans by “[p]olluters and some members of Congress” to damage public health is the American Lung Association seeking to thwart? One of their efforts is targeted at defeating a bill that seeks to stop the EPA from doing an end run around Congress and regulating greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide – under the Clean Air Act. Money can’t buy passion like that, but if it could, the 164 EPA grants to various American Lung Association groups totaling over $20,000,000 within the past decade might help.”
    http://blog.heritage.org/2011/05/19/epa-dollars-doled-out-to-environmentalist-activist-groups/

  145. timg56 says:

    RiH008,

    “CO2 in concentrations of 5000 ppm in submarines is plausible to have an impact;”

    Should I be worried? How long does it take for effects to show up? As a former submariner, I want to know.

    Actually it doesn’t matter. One has to be a bit off to volunteer for subs in the first place.

  146. MarkW says:

    “So how could you stop the EPA?”

    Thermo-nuclear devices sounds tempting.

  147. MarkW says:

    I’ve read somewhere, that due to all of the pollution control devices, for cars driving in the LA basin, their exhaust is cleaner than the air entering at the filtered end.

    I wonder how long it will be until the EPA requires power plants to reach this stage of cleanliness?

  148. ACCKKII says:

    RiHo08 says:
    December 26, 2011 at 2:55 pm
    La Miya Casa & A Physicist.
    “CO2 does not cause any of what you state as relevant to yourselves and others. Regulating the effluent from coal powered power plants can be argued favorably that it should be done. When CO2 and water vapor, two of the most effective green house gases, although they may play only a small role in climate change, are to be regulated, that is the nonsense. The use of the endangerment finding for regulating greenhouse gases is only a political issue. I repeat, CO2 and water vapor do not cause cancer, bad behavior of your teenager, asthma, whatever…. ”
    ____________________________________________________________________________
    RiHo08,
    Merry Christmas and Happy New year.
    1. I’m “NULL” not anti/pro CO2 individual, so please first of all put your gun down;
    2. I’ve lost 2 of my best friends because of lung cancer, let’s leave it was because of inheritance factor, although they had no relations, so come down please;
    3.In power plants and factories, usually there are rules and regulations that are controlling the gas from smoke stacks, nothing to worry about;
    4. As I said, in underground railways, locomotives are electrically powered, that is exactly because of CO2 and other harmful smells and elements mixed with the fossil fuels, this cannot be denied. It doesn’t mean CO2 is good/bad;
    5. I don’t like politics, I like to talk to find better solutions for where we need, we get medical solutions from snakes poisons;
    6. In undergrounds/metros, you can imagine how many people are traveling around the world. We have the same problem in SOME of the greater cities on the streets, we should solve this problem because the leverages and controls on power plants and factories according to law cannot be implemented on individuals and their cars;
    7. local climate conditions, like winds, humidity, traffic compression, and geographical situation of the greater cities and the upside down air pollution phenomena, are making troubles for the residents and you know what are the aftermaths, the way that the view is reduced and everything’s colour becomes dark grey. We cannot claim that the so called environment is nothing, then what should we say when the air is clean and sun is visible. This cannot be denied;
    8. Did you see anything political or something pro CO2 or anything anti CO2? You are here to discuss about theses things;
    9. I cannot believe there are people thinking on CO2 as their own property. The result would be that they do just like foreigners behavior to the earth. CO2 should be discussed, talking about CO2 is not heresy.

  149. Pat Moffitt says:

    MarkW says:
    December 27, 2011 at 9:58 am
    “I’ve read somewhere, that due to all of the pollution control devices, for cars driving in the LA basin, their exhaust is cleaner than the air entering at the filtered end. I wonder how long it will be until the EPA requires power plants to reach this stage of cleanliness?”
    I have already been down this road with EPA on 2 wastewater treatment plants. You see the regulations said anti-degradation which was interpreted as no change in condition- in the one case the water produced by the plant was of higher quality than the river above the discharge and as such that the biological indicators below the plant showed a better condition. The improvement in the river became a violation. The other was an ocean outfall that as can be expected given all the structure associated with it attracted a lot of sea life. A few hundred yards away there was nothing but near lifeless sand habitat. Therefore the ocean outfall had changed the condition and was seen as a violation. I can’t even begin to tell you how much time and aggravation it took to undo this mess.

  150. Smokey says:

    A physicist says:

    “Modern CFL lamps do substantially reduce mercury emissions, and that’s a fact.”

    So by adding mercury… mercury is reduced. ???

  151. kforestcat says:

    Dear: The Piractical Captain Dallas says: December 26, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Where you state:

    “Hang on a second. 12.5% of all US power plants already meet the regulation limits. about 63 or 10.5% of the older power plants don’t stand a chance. Most of those are already planned to be replaced. With the allowable time and the permissible extension, these plants will shut down on schedule. Most of the remaining power plants have access to available technology to upgrade to meet the new limits. Some just need co-generation which could be low temperature hot water for a variety of processes, like pulp which is overly impacted by the regulation”

    I’m afraid I don’t agree. Point by point.

    1) Where you state: ” 12.5% of all US power plants already meet the regulation limits. ” I don’t agree. the 12.5% figure comes from an assumption that the standards are created based on the performance of the best 12.5% of existing power plants. The facts are the EPA used 12.5% of plants for individual pollutants… not all pollutants at the same time. Even the EPA could find only a single U.S. plant in the U.S. that was able to meet all of its emission requirements … and it’s not at all clear that this plant is representative given that it utilized a dry FGD using medium sulfur coal. Because coal varies the performance of a single plant is, frankly, meaningless.

    2) Where you state: “About 63 or 10.5% of the older power plants don’t stand a chance. Most of those are already planned to be replaced.” Dead wrong again. I am part of a team that made the decision to close 2,700 MW of capacity. Not a single unit would have be closed if the EPA’s “toxic rules” had not been issued. Moreover it appears likely we will be announcing more closures. (We just didn’t have all the facts until the new rules were issued).

    3) Where you state: “Most of the remaining power plants have access to available technology to upgrade to meet the new limits.” Partially wrong . See item one above. It not at all clear we actually be able to meet all of the emission requirements, although changing the proposed 2.5 PM standard helps. With regard to applying the new plant standards, we can’t find a single construction company willing to guarantee they can meet all of the EPA’s newly proposed emission requirements. In other words… the technology does not exist. (And just wait until you see the proposed NSPS for green house gases).

    4) Where you State: “Some just need co-generation which could be low temperature hot water for a variety of processes, like pulp which is overly impacted by the regulation”. I am truly sorry to have to say this, but, I’m afraid you don’t understand the scale of power operations. Co-generation is not going to address the problem. Moreover, I don’t think you understand the EPA regulatory process. Generally, if you produce electricity for sale your plant becomes subject to the EPA rules for electric generating units (EGUs). Generally, the standards for EGUs are tighter than the rules for other industries. Short version, no relief there. (Just the opposite, I’m in the process of closing co-generating units supplying steam to a major industry.)

    Mr. Rucker has it dead right. Nothing the EPA says is close to the truth or truly involves acting for the public good.

    Regards, Kforestcat

  152. Mac the Knife says:

    A physicist says:
    December 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm
    “Short summary: There is ample scientific evidence that power that is cheap at the plug can be exceedingly dear at the doctor’s office.
    The appropriate trade-offs are not easily decided.”

    Short and clear response: There is irrefutable evidence that unaffordable power ‘at the plug’ will cause one to freeze to death in the cold and dark, during a Wisconsin winter. The appropriate trade offs are so easily decided that even a child understands this… but apparently they are beyond calculation by ‘A physicist’.

    Rather than condemning the old, frail, or innocent babies to this easily preventable form of myopic murder, ‘A physicist’, why don’t you conduct the experiment yourself? Enjoy a few months of powerless exposure to a Wisconsin winter! It will be good for the Planet and good for you! No man made power sources. No fire. No synthetic clothes or shelter. No hot food and no hot water. No CO2 emissions….. Think of it as ‘a teaching moment’. I guarantee it will be instructive. The physics of freezing to death are quite interesting, once you get past the difficult hygiene, excruciating pain of frost bite, pleurisy, and malingering pneumonia.

  153. John Billings says:

    Ah well, as we all tell our children, be very sceptical of that which you read on blogs. It amazes me how all the climate sceptics (of whom I am one: I am sceptical about everything) that bear their scepticism with such pride swallow everything they read here on WUWT like it’s mother’s milk. It only needs to be published here for every reader to believe every word. Now, let me be clear, I am not saying a single word of it is untrue. No I’m not. I am simply asking you all why you all believe it to be 100%, 1000% true, just because it is published here? And why do you so many of you get so angry about blog posts, when you should know that, whisper this, *they are not necessarily 100% true*.

    Now, to hopefully calm things a little, we’ll switch on the cold water credulity hose to see how that sobers things up. Let’s see: The article says that “The agency recruited, guided and financed activist groups that promoted its rulemaking”. Oh, but whoopie-do, the same article forgets to point out that according to Exxon’s own accounts 1998 – 2007, the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), of which Craig Rucker, author of this piece, is the co-founder, received $582,000 in direct funding from ExxonMobil Corporate Giving and the ExxonMobil Foundation.

    Willie Soon, “independent natural scientist”, may not perhaps be as independent as all that, as he has been bankrolled to the tune of over $1,000,000 by big energy and big oil, including Tea Party Charles Hoch last year – although it should be said that the like of Exxon and Southern have been crossing the street to avoid him when they’ve seen Willie coming in recent years.

    Naturally, dear old Craig and fine fellow Willie would like us to suspend our scepticism, turn a blind eye, when it comes to them rolling over and playing tickle-tummy for Big Oil, as long as we are the cheerleaders for their attacks on those that threaten the very same Big Oil etc.

    Lastly, I personally used to work in a town with a mercury mine. Idrija, in Slovenia. It has its own special hospital for the ex-miners. The debilitations they suffer from, physical and mental, are those you would not wish on your worst enemy. I think Rucker, Soon et al, those seem to think that mercury is not a health hazard, should be forced to work there for an extended period. They would go to sleep at night weeping into their pillows.

  154. Alan Bates says:

    Before I retired from paid employment I was the senior chemist at a large industrial site and was the site’s contact with the UK version of the US EPA. When the site was being built we had to discuss with our Regulator about levels of various chemicals that might be allowed to be discharged into the sea (tidal). The Agency was keen on writing into our consent that we were to “minimise” our discharges. I was vigorously opposed to this because there is only one minimum value – zero. And this could not be technically justified and if applied literally could have closed the site down before we even started!

    After much discussion it was agreed that we should “limit” our discharges which, I think, was what they wanted. That is, they did not want us to operate up to our statutory limit just because we could. Instead, we would keep well within the values, the exceeding of which would lead to prosecution, without needing to do costly and stupid things with no environmental benefit.

    Overall, our relationship was workman-like (not cosy/cosey) to the benefit of all. It helped that I brought in a policy (fully supported by the site manager) that we would be totally and brutally honest with our Regulator. If anything went wrong (even if there was no way he would be able to tell) the bad news came from me to him the same day. This applied to near misses as well:
    What had happened.
    The implications (if any)
    What we had already done to control the problem
    What we had put in place to prevent it recurring or to prevent a near miss from becoming a full blown incident.

    All this was before the extremes of environmentalism but I believe the environment and the public were effectively protected from harm.

  155. Another Ian says:

    “Smokey says:
    December 26, 2011 at 12:52 pm
    Askgerbil Now,

    Try to pay attention. You postewd a link to Austrailian emissions, which has no relevance to the EPA.”

    IMO there is a big danger that not much from CSIRO these days has any relevance to anything much

  156. johanna says:

    John Billings, you are missing the point about funding (I have no idea if your figures are correct, but it doesn’t matter anyway).

    In a free country, people are allowed to spend their own money as they please, including funding research or advocating for causes.

    Using taxpayers’ money to advocate for causes that the funding agency supports is a very different thing. And we are not talking about nickels and dimes here. At a time when the US has a massive public debt problem, the EPA has given away almost $4bn of public money to its pals – pals who will advocate for the continuing expansion of the EPA.

    While bad practices in mercury mines in Slovenia are to be deplored, I fail to see what they have to do with this discussion, which is about minute quantities of mercury emissions from coal fired power stations.

  157. Pat Moffitt says:

    John Billings says:
    “I think Rucker, Soon et al, those seem to think that mercury is not a health hazard, should be forced to work there for an extended period.”

    No-one has said that mercury has zero health risk – what has been stated is EPA’s health claims at these extremely low Hg levels strain credulity. Further the costs associated with compliance, it is argued, create perverse consequences of far greater risk.

    Using workers at the world’s largest mercury mine- Idrija- as a risk comparison to EPAs new Hg standards is a bit dishonest- don’t you think?

  158. This is just more of the EPA’s war on carbon, and particularly against coal, which is carbon-rich. Remember John L. Lewis and his coal miners’ strike many years ago? Where is he when we need him most?

    If enough of those old coal-fueled power generators recieve EPA’s coup de grace, how about some rotating blackouts, starting with all of Washington D.C.?

  159. Ian L. McQueen says:

    Posting:
    GeoLurking says:
    December 26, 2011 at 3:42 pm
    Zeke says: December 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    “OSHA Permissible Exposure Level for Mercury is about 0.5 mg/m³. A CFL contains somewhere between 2 to 4 grams of Mercury. Break one and you have enough to contaminate (per OSHA guidelines) 4000 to 8000 cubic meters of your house.”

    Sorry, Zeke or GeoLurking, but the statement “A CFL contains somewhere between 2 to 4 grams of Mercury” is out by a factor of 1000. According to Wikipedia (which tallies with what I have read elsewhere): “Most CFLs contain 3–5 mg per bulb, with the bulbs labeled “eco-friendly” containing as little as 1 mg.”

    Milligrams, not grams…..

    IanM
    [Apologioes if this has already been commenting on. It takes time to read through every comment, so I have jumped ahead several hours.]

  160. John Billings says:

    johanna says:
    December 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    John Billings, you are missing the point about funding (I have no idea if your figures are correct, but it doesn’t matter anyway).

    Yes, my figures are correct, and it is entirely inappropriate for Rucker to raise the issue of EPA funding without revealing his own dirty laundry. If he wishes to bring funding into the discussion, he can expect others to do so to his detriment. He brought it up.

    I mentioned the mercury mine in Slovenia because the whole thrust of the article is that mercury is relatively harmless. It’s a poison piece about a poison.

    Pat Moffitt says:
    December 27, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Using workers at the world’s largest mercury mine- Idrija- as a risk comparison to EPAs new Hg standards is a bit dishonest- don’t you think?

    No. it’s not at all dishonest. What’s dishonest is to say that “independent natural scientist Dr. Willie Soon and CFACT policy advisor Paul Driessen pointed out in their WallStreetJournal and Investor’sBusinessDaily articles, and in Dr. Soon’s 85-page critique of EPA’s draft rules, US power plants account for only 0.5% of the mercury in US air” – without reference to their claim, how it was formulated so that anyone else can check it, and certainly without reference to what the EPA says about the matter. What’s dishonest is to say “The rest of the mercury in US air comes from natural and foreign sources, such as forest fires, Chinese power plants and the cremation of human remains (from tooth fillings that contain mercury and silver)” without any reference to where the data comes from so that it can be checked.

    What’s dishonest is to put an emotive piece in front of a bloodthirsty, gullible audience.

    What’s downright unpleasant is to have to answer your pointed, personal jibes. Please look at the article again and ask yourself if it holds water before accusing me of dishonesty. Sometimes the atmosphere here stinks, it really does.

  161. Walter Cronanty says:

    Johanna is entirely correct, Mr. Billings. It’s one thing for private companies to use their money to fund advocates, it’s quite another when the government takes my money by force, and then uses it to buy the ALA [and other NGOs] to advocate for the EPA. Now excuse me while I wipe the blood from my gullible jowls. So glad you don’t stoop to pointed, personal jibes.

  162. Myrrh says:

    EPAs new Hg standards is a bit dishonest- don’t you think?

    the1bob paglee says:
    December 27, 2011 at 2:11 pm
    This is just more of the EPA’s war on carbon, and particularly against coal, which is carbon-rich. Remember John L. Lewis and his coal miners’ strike many years ago? Where is he when we need him most?

    If enough of those old coal-fueled power generators recieve EPA’s coup de grace, how about some rotating blackouts, starting with all of Washington D.C.?

    ===================

    I wonder if there’s a coal-powered electricity supplier for EPA headquarters..? If I owned it… I consider raising the cost to those anti-coal powered electricity, to, oh astronomically high tariffs.

  163. John Billings says:

    Walter Cronanty says:
    December 27, 2011 at 3:11 pm
    “when the government takes my money by force”,… so, there you are with your gun in your bunker in Montana, refusing to pay for any societal good such as the police, army, street lighting, highways, elementary education so that the poorest of the poor can at least speak English before your market forces are unleashed upon them in a tidal wave…

    To wipe the blood from your gullible jowls may take some time, since you choose to mention it.

  164. Justa Joe says:

    Maybe the EPA should look into Hg mining practises in Slovenia (they’d have to work out the jurisdictional issues) rather than fund its pals environmental/AGW campaigns. I bet that $4billion funded a whole lot of California & Maryland 6 figure environmentalist salaries.

  165. George Daddis says:

    Enneagram says:
    “Democracy has gone too far, driven by the maddening idea of “not discriminating minorities” as to allow those totally unfitted to reach positions of decision and power. Thus the most complete menagerie of fools, idiots and sick people are dictating the laws and measures for the rest of the society. This is absolutely insane.”…….
    Umberto Eco’s latest novel echos (small pun) your sentiments. One of the narrators (a gormand, by the way) recalls the imperialists’ (Napolean III) belief that the best way to defeat democracy/republicanism is to grant universal suffrage. That is just one of many topical observations disguised in in a twisted account of European politics before WWI.

  166. John Billings says:

    Justa Joe,

    I’m in Colorado right now. But you mention “California & Maryland 6 figure environmentalist salaries”. Does that mean I am safe? I don’t want to pay “6 figure environmentalist salaries”, because the only 6-figure salary I know is if you include the numbers after the decimal. I’m scared, Justa Joe. Should I go find Walter Cronanty in his bunker? What if he’s only got beans to eat up there?

  167. Walter Cronanty says:

    My apologies for engaging what is obviously an ignorant, bomb-throwing troll.

  168. GeoLurking says:

    Ian L. McQueen says:
    December 27, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    “…Sorry, Zeke or GeoLurking, but the statement “A CFL contains somewhere between 2 to 4 grams of Mercury” is out by a factor of 1000…”

    Not a prob. The EPA took care of the “factor of 1000″ thing by placing the prolonged exposure limits at 300 ng/m³ rather than the OSHA PEL limit of 0.5 mg/m³ (500,000 ng/m³)

  169. Pat Moffitt says:

    John Billings says:
    “What’s dishonest is to say that “independent natural scientist Dr. Willie Soon and CFACT policy advisor Paul Driessen pointed out in their WallStreetJournal and Investor’sBusinessDaily articles, and in Dr. Soon’s 85-page critique of EPA’s draft rules, US power plants account for only 0.5% of the mercury in US air” – without reference to their claim, how it was formulated so that anyone else can check it, and certainly without reference to what the EPA says about the matter.”

    I found 171 references and notes in Soon’s report- so I have no idea what you are talking about
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/scientific_reply.pdf

    And the dose makes the poison.

  170. Smokey says:

    Walter Cronanty,

    Pay no attention to the troll.

  171. John Billings says:

    To Smokey and Walter Cronanty:

    You call me a “troll” for asking genuine questions. What are you doing here? What purpose do you hope your posts serve?

    Pat Moffitt says:
    December 27, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    “I found 171 references and notes in Soon’s report- so I have no idea what you are talking about”

    Pat, none of the 171 references were visible in the article. The article was/is a leap of faith. Believe “it” if you believe WUWT. You dug out Soon’s paper because you wanted to believe. I’m saying that we should all apply the same standards of scepticism to everything. I said in my original post that I did not doubt anything it said – except that I doubted everything, as that is the true nature of scepticism. It is not to doubt this or that – it is to doubt everything. So when you present a case, an argument, a something, we, the audience, the appraisers, should not, cannot say “It’s good” or “it’s bad” without something to back it up. That’s all. So I neither agree nor disagree with you. Your comment “so I have no idea what you are talking about” – you will have to look at that, as I cannot. I am not presenting any point for or against anything – except that we should all be very harsh, and not sympathetic, to anyone who puts anything up for our inspection. I do hope you understand.

  172. BigWaveDave says:

    John Billings says:
    December 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Yes, my figures are correct, and it is entirely inappropriate for Rucker to raise the issue of EPA funding without revealing his own dirty laundry. If he wishes to bring funding into the discussion, he can expect others to do so to his detriment. He brought it up.

    So, are you complaining about non-AGW-agenda research receiving from private sources about 0.04% as much funding as what is given by EPA of public funds, to promote AGW?

  173. Justa Joe says:

    John Billings says:
    December 27, 2011 at 3:53 pm
    I’m in Colorado right now. But you mention “California & Maryland 6 figure environmentalist salaries”. Does that mean I am safe?
    _______________________

    I honestly don’t get what you’re trying to say. You may not make a 6 figure salary… so what? Are you suggesting that the higher-ups in environmental/AGW campaigning oufits don’t make 6 figure salaries, while Federal tax dollars for “blah, blah, blah awareness” flow into their organizations?These groups’ lawyers also generate a lot of big legal fees paid by the tax payers for “sueing” the EPA.

  174. gcapologist says:

    To read Dr. Soon’s comment submission:

    go to regulations.gov

    in key word search enter: “EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234″

    then search within results for “soon”

    Dr. Soon’s 85 page comment is the first document you’ll get. It contains 171 references.

    I haven’t read his submission yet, but for all those wanting citations, you’ll probably find them there.

    (Sorry, I don’t know how to provide a direct link to the docket document.)

  175. Pat Moffitt says:

    John Billings says
    Pat, none of the 171 references were visible in the article. The article was/is a leap of faith. Believe “it” if you believe WUWT. You dug out Soon’s paper because you wanted to believe.

    No – I actually read the report first and I “believe” because I actually work in the field.

  176. beng says:

    *****
    John Billings says:
    December 27, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Oh, but whoopie-do, the same article forgets to point out that according to Exxon’s own accounts 1998 – 2007, the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), of which Craig Rucker, author of this piece, is the co-founder, received $582,000 in direct funding from ExxonMobil Corporate Giving and the ExxonMobil Foundation.
    ****

    Rucker got money from ExxonMobil, an independent company. I & most people here don’t give a rat’s arse about private donations, we’re concerned about where our public taxpayer money is going. Please, get a clue.

  177. Resourceguy says:

    Note that the enviro legal assault is just as great with new coal plant projects that do meet EPA guidelines with the latest technology. And the negotiated settlements if there are any are very lucrative to the enviros and help drive up the cost of power going forward. High cost oil does not hold a candle compared to high cost electricity and energy in general. Man made of course

  178. Mac the Knife says:

    John Billings says:
    December 27, 2011 at 12:48 pm
    “It amazes me how all the climate sceptics (of whom I am one: I am sceptical about everything) that bear their scepticism with such pride swallow everything they read here on WUWT like it’s mother’s milk. It only needs to be published here for every reader to believe every word. ”

    John….John….
    I don’t believe you. Nope – not even one word, let alone ‘every’ word. But, what the heck, I’m not that easily amazed, either.

  179. sceptical says:

    [snip - too stupid to post, try rephrasing]

  180. Schadow says:

    Myrrh says:
    December 27, 2011 at 5:41 am
    So how could you stop the EPA?

    Send Obama back to Chicago in January, 2013. Fire all the “czars.” Send Ms. Jackson back to wherever she came from, and de-fund the EPA down to a more sane level. Unfortunately, this gang can (and will) continue to wreak havoc as lame ducks for another full year even if they get defeated in November, 2012.

  181. aired says:

    Myrrh says:
    December 27, 2011 at 4:15 am

    I’ve read that it’s the lack of selenium in the body that’s the problem. When selenium missing mercury makes the connections that selenium would be making which is what screws the body, enough selenium and the mercury has nowhere to connect and is thus expelled. One only needs enough selenium to let it do its thing, greater amounts of mercury will anyway be unable to make the connections which some mercury is making through lack of selenium, so gets expelled. I’ll see if I can find any more on this. Brazil nuts.

    Please do read more. You are nearly correct with your first statement above. It is actually lack of AVAILABLE selenium that is the problem in the body. If the selenium is bound up by mercury, the selenium is not allowed to participate in reactions to form the critical proteins. I have not seen any published evidence that mercury actually takes selenium’s place in the critical proteins. Rather, because selenium and mercury have such a strong affinity (chemical bond), my understanding is that the mercury will react with selenium to form a molecule (mercury selenide) that does not allow the selenium to be used to construct the critical selenium-containing protein (selenoprotein).

    Also, the postulated mechanism for “mercury poisoning” is that when mercury is present in excess of selenium, the mercury “robs” the selenium from existing selenoproteins, destroying them and their proper functions to support the nervous system. The video link I provided explains that mothers with the highest body levels of mercury had the smartest kids, because these mothers ate a large amount of seafood that contains mercury, but also contain much more selenium than mercury. Thus if your body loading is 10 units of mercury and 50 units of selenium, the mercury will take 10 units of selenium out of the picture (1:1 molar ratio). However, the other 40 units of selenium will be left to do its job forming the critical proteins.

    And yes, Brazil nuts as well as most ocean fish are great sources of selenium.

    Please note I am not a chemist (actually a meteorologist), although I did have a chemistry minor in college.

  182. WillR says:

    John Billings says:
    December 27, 2011 at 4:31 pm
    To Smokey and Walter Cronanty:
    You call me a “troll” for asking genuine questions. What are you doing here? What purpose do you hope your posts serve?
    Pat Moffitt says:
    December 27, 2011 at 4:05 pm
    “I found 171 references and notes in Soon’s report- so I have no idea what you are talking about”

    Pat, none of the 171 references were visible in the article.

    Well when I followed the directions I was able to download a PDF and shur’nuff — 171 references. I guess Dr. W. Soon did submit…

    http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-14449

    “Document ID: EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-14449 Document Type: Public Submission
    This is comment on Proposed Rule: National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants From Coal- and Oil-fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units and Standards of Performance for Fossil-Fuel-Fired Electric Utility, Industrial-Commercial-Institutional, and Small Industrial-Commercial-Institutional Steam Generating Units”

  183. Myrrh says:

    aired says:
    December 27, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Please do read more.

    I did – I haven’t been able to find any reference to what I remembered, perhaps I’d misunderstood it, but your scenario is one that makes sense and I found this page which gives more information and puts the mercury in fish into proper perspective, re the opening post, that the great amounts of selenium in fish is the inbuilt prophylactic against any detrimental effects of mercury in the fish: http://www.bwfa-usa.org/health/mercury-in-seafood

    What I can’t understand, is why is mercury still used in dental fillings? And, why put mercury into vaccines? This is one of the most toxic substances we have around, it’s one thing to play with it, that’s great fun, but to deliberately introduce it into our bodies is extraordinary, given that we now understand how toxic it is. I know we didn’t, mercury was used in medicines and the insanity of Ivan the Terrible has recently been attributed to the mercury his doctors were giving him – this telegraph article puts the high levels of mercury found in his mother’s and wife’s remains as possibly deliberate murder, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/1326387/Mercury-poisoned-Ivan-the-Terribles-mother-and-wife.html
    but, haven’t taken into account the medical practices of the day which is what killed him in the end too. The irony is that Ivan got horribly paranoid because he thought his family deliberately poisoned and himself the next victim, but the intentions were good..

    Then there’s Marie Curie who died of radiation poisoning, and all the factory girls affected by the paint used in glow in the dark dials on watches.., this amazing new substance that was immediately thought of as a cure for all ills. But, we actually do know better now. Why are we putting fluoride into water supplies and toothpaste?

    None of these agencies supposedly protecting us are doing any such thing, they’re working to vested interests agendas, the pharmaceutical companies one of the worst offenders.

  184. Marlow Metcalf says:

    So will eating fish for the selenium protect us from the mercury in CFLs. I know the thread is old but somebody had to ask.

  185. TRM says:

    I just thought of this. Does this apply to garbage incineration? The last report I’ve seen (2004?) had coal at 40 tons a year and garbage at 35. Here again technical solutions exist like plasma arc incineration. Here again the only output is CO2.

  186. Mac the Knife says:
    December 27, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Rather than condemning the old, frail, or innocent babies to this easily preventable form of myopic murder, ‘A physicist’, why don’t you conduct the experiment yourself? Enjoy a few months of powerless exposure to a Wisconsin winter! It will be good for the Planet and good for you! No man made power sources. No fire. No synthetic clothes or shelter. No hot food and no hot water. No CO2 emissions….. Think of it as ‘a teaching moment’. I guarantee it will be instructive. The physics of freezing to death are quite interesting, once you get past the difficult hygiene, excruciating pain of frost bite, pleurisy, and malingering pneumonia.

    Thank you for stating that. You are right on the mark, and I remember it well.

    I was ten years old at the end of WWII. After the war, our infrastructure was not just in shambles but in rubble and ashes. There was nothing to be had to burn to obtain heat. Electricity was on twice a day, for one hour at noon and for one hour at supper time. The city gas plant was not in operation.

    I remember how cold I was. I remember sitting in the kitchen, huddled with my mother, waiting for the sun to come up over our neighbors’ house, to hit the window and to begin melting the frost on the window, day, after day, after day. There was no place to go to to warm up, not even at school. The school was closed because there was nothing to heat the classrooms with…

    Enough of those memories and back to the present. “A Physicist” and others who object with religious fervor to the lead-in article, I noticed that all of you conveniently forgot to address the key-item of information in the article: “US power plants account for only 0.5% of the mercury in US air.” That makes everything you wrote more than a bit pointless. A reduction of almost nothing, even if it were 100% effective, still is almost nothing, regardless of the sources of the other 99.5% of the mercury in the air in the U.S.

  187. TRM says:
    December 28, 2011 at 9:13 am

    I just thought of this. Does this apply to garbage incineration? The last report I’ve seen (2004?) had coal at 40 tons a year and garbage at 35. Here again technical solutions exist like plasma arc incineration. Here again the only output is CO2.

    Aside from the fact that your figures are off by a quite a few orders of magnitude, plasma-arc incineration will not convert mercury compounds to CO2.

  188. TRM says:

    ” Walter H. Schneider says: December 28, 2011 at 10:48 am
    Aside from the fact that your figures are off by a quite a few orders of magnitude, plasma-arc incineration will not convert mercury compounds to CO2. ”

    Several of the plasma gas companies claim to be able to handle (and destroy) mercury and low grade radioactive waste from hospitals. How much of their claims are true is a valid point.

    As to the figures being off “by a quite a few orders of magnitude” the EPA figures of approximately 50 tons a year for coal and I went with the lower value I have also found of 40. The garbage incineration is a very mixed bag. Everything from 13 to 40 and I went with the 35 as it seemed a better researched value.

    Hardly off by any orders of magnitude unless you are not familiar with the term. Coal would have to be less than 4 tons and garbage less that 3.5 for me to be off by even one order of magnitude.

    If you have any links for reading I am always interested in reading more interesting material. I learn lots from the postings on this site.

  189. Myrrh says:

    Walter H. Schneider says:
    December 28, 2011 at 10:43 am

    “A Physicist” and others who object with religious fervor to the lead-in article, I noticed that all of you conveniently forgot to address the key-item of information in the article: “US power plants account for only 0.5% of the mercury in US air.” That makes everything you wrote more than a bit pointless. A reduction of almost nothing, even if it were 100% effective, still is almost nothing, regardless of the sources of the other 99.5% of the mercury in the air in the U.S.

    ======================

    This is the crux of the matter. This organisation is completely irrational and a parasite on the backs of industry and taxpayers, as a private company its duties are to maximise profits for its shareholders, whoever they are, they are not objective. If the companies affected by this don’t take on the EPA it won’t stop.

  190. Legatus says:

    Earlier I stated that other countries would stop accepting the US dollar if such environmental rules as above drove business out of the US and we no longer produced anything that other countries would want to use the US dollar to buy. You amy have considered that a bit extreme. Wrong, it is happening now. Read the below where the worlds second and third largest economies, respectively, have abandoned the US dollar due to believeing it’s declining value makes it worthless, or soon to be worthless. Within only a few years the US is likely to be in the position of discovering that the dollar no longer buys foriegn goods and the US no longer produces the goods themselves, and thus the goods are simply unavailable. The Chines and Japanese, and all of souteast asia, and soon the world, have seen the writing on the wall, our deliberate destruction of what used to be the worlds largest economy.

    Subject: Harbinger of the Near Future
    For anyone watching the events unfold in the world economic arena for the past two years, it is has been obvious that China has become extremely concerned regarding the devaluation of the U.S. dollar under the policies of the Obama administration. This includes, most notably, not only our massive foreign debt, but the policies of the Fed and Treasury in just printing increased amounts of paper money to put into circulation. It is a classic case of the debasement of the U.S. currency. Consequently, China has increasingly lost faith in the value of the U.S. dollar, both short term and long term, to serve as the defacto currency for world trade. When China suggested, last year, that a new currency be created for world trade, preferably through the IMF, this idea was quickly shot down by the U.S. and Europe.
    The response of China would naturally be to either replace the U.S. Dollar with the Chinese Yuan or to make the Chinese Yuan a currency equal to the Dollar as the vehicle for foreign trade. About two years ago, China began, on a limited basis, to utilize the Yuan as the basis for trade with selected countries in Southeast Asia. Following the typical and rational Chinese approach, they experimented with this for the past couple of years and found that using the Yuan as the basis settlement of trade between China and these select countries was working quite well. Now, in what I consider to be a major step forward, and one which seems not understood or appreciated for its significance, the Chinese have expanded this to the their trade relationships with Japan. In this morning’s report on CNN, in the discussion of the meeting between the Japanese Prime Minister and President Hu Jintao of China, the following sentence appeared, buried in the overall story of discussing Japan’s desire for China to control North Korea.
    “Both sides also signed energy conservation and environmental protection agreements, along with an announcement that the two sides will use their own currencies in bilateral trade rather than U.S. dollars in an effort to encourage economic cooperation”
    This now means that trade between the world’s second and third largest economies will now occur using the Chinese Yuan and the Japanese Yen, and not the U.S. Dollar. The Chinese Yuan is becoming the currency for trade in Asia. Probably in another 2-3 years, the Chinese Yuan will become a freely convertible international currency and come to dominate trade not only with Asia, but with Europe. The age of the U.S. Dollar as being the predominant world currency has now begun to become a memory. True, it will take several more years for the figures to be revealed and reported in world currency markets, etc., but with this announcement between the second and third largest economies in the world, the roadmap is quite clear for the future.
    And with all of the occurring, we proceed in our own ignorance to have Presidential primaries where the debates remain centered around religious values, abortion rights, divorces, and a host of extraneous issues. In our own ignorance, we continue down the failed road of European socialism and have become a nation of entitlements and cheap currency. There is a dearth of leadership in our nation, and the fault lies with both political parties.
    You can find out more about Dr. Kupper at his website: http://chinaresourcesgroup.com/about.html

  191. A physicist says:

    Myrrh says: “A Physicist” and others [did not] address the key-item of information in the article: “US power plants account for only 0.5% of the mercury in US air.”

    Myrrh, see Global source attribution for mercury deposition in the United States for contrary information.

    After all, that “0.5%” claim might be simply incorrect, eh?

    More broadly, the free PUBMED service provides free, rapid, convenient access to peer-reviewed, health-related scientific information; this service is commended to all rational skeptics.

  192. A physicist says:
    December 29, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Myrrh says: “A Physicist” and others [did not] address the key-item of information in the article: “US power plants account for only 0.5% of the mercury in US air.”

    Myrrh, see Global source attribution for mercury deposition in the United States for contrary information.

    After all, that “0.5%” claim might be simply incorrect, eh?….

    It was I and not Myrrh who said so, and as to your insinuation that “that “0.5%” claim might be simply incorrect, eh?” Well, is it correct or isn’t it?

    Insinuations and allusions are not hard and acceptable evidence. Provide page numbers and exact quotes of the evidence you have that turn your insinuation into a fact. What is your figure for the portion of the mercury emissions emitted nationally by the U.S. coal-fired power generation industry? Where can that figure be found? (And stop quoting the link to an abstract of a large report that apparently cannot be accessed from the page you keep pointing to.)

  193. TRM says:
    December 28, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Several of the plasma gas companies claim to be able to handle (and destroy) mercury and low grade radioactive waste from hospitals. How much of their claims are true is a valid point.

    Okay, do we agree then that when mercury compounds are being burned in a plasma burner, the elemental mercury will remain and be emitted? In other words, plasma burners do not destroy mercury, but they do break down mercury compounds into their elemental constituents, one of which will be elemental mercury.

    As to the figures being off “by a quite a few orders of magnitude” the EPA figures of approximately 50 tons a year for coal and I went with the lower value I have also found of 40. The garbage incineration is a very mixed bag. Everything from 13 to 40 and I went with the 35 as it seemed a better researched value.

    What do those figures (e.g.: “approximately 50 tons a year for coal”) relate to? Where do those figures come from and what are they? Those figures relate to tons of what? The lead-in article does not mention tons of anything.

    In a preceding comment (TRM says: December 26, 2011 at 7:12 pm) you had stated “If you burn coal in a pure oxygen environment you get just water vapor and CO2 outputs.” “Just water vapor and CO2″ is very specific. I am therefore led to believe that the tons you mentioned next relate to tons of those substances emitted per year in the U.S.

  194. A physicist says:
    Myrrh says: “A Physicist” and others [did not] address the key-item of information in the article: “US power plants account for only 0.5% of the mercury in US air.”

    A physicist says: Myrrh, see Global source attribution for mercury deposition in the United States (Powerpoint here) for contrary information. After all, that “0.5%” claim might be simply incorrect, eh?….

    Walter H. Schneider says: It was I and not Myrrh who said so, and as to your insinuation that “that “0.5%” claim might be simply incorrect, eh?” Well, is it correct or isn’t it?

    Thank you for your question, Walter.

    According to the cited survey, the percentage of wet+dry mercury deposition in the US that originates from US anthropogenic sources typically ranges from 5% to 60% (locally more) of total local mercury deposition, with said USA-originating mercury falling to earth mainly east of the Mississippi River.

    It seems to me that WUWT’s guest poster Craig Rucker should have at least cited this survey (which itself has been cited more than 200 times elsewhere in the literature), if only to criticize it. Because the claims of Mr. Rucker’s guest post are wildly at odds with the existing literature.

    After all, Walter, it is not our responsibility — or it shouldn’t have to be our responsibility — to fact-check Mr. Rucker! :)

  195. Myrrh says:

    A physicist says:
    December 29, 2011 at 7:29 am
    Myrrh says: “A Physicist” and others [did not] address the key-item of information in the article: “US power plants account for only 0.5% of the mercury in US air.”

    Myrrh, see Global source attribution for mercury deposition in the United States for contrary information.
    After all, that “0.5%” claim might be simply incorrect, eh?
    More broadly, the free PUBMED service provides free, rapid, convenient access to peer-reviewed, health-related scientific information; this service is commended to all rational skeptics.
    ===========
    As Walter H. Schneider answered you here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/26/shutting-down-power-plants-imaginary-benefits-extensive-harm/#comment-846755
    ………….

    Who owns the EPA and who are the shareholders? I’ve tried to find that information but all I get is the EPA demanding other companies provide details of their businesses, while, apparently, perhaps I just don’t know where to look.., avoiding answering these same questions:

    http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/publications/cleanup/superfund/104e/fin-general.html

    Superfund: CERCLA Section 104(e) Information Request Questions – General Financial Questions

    Where can I find the answers to these questions from the EPA?

    All I’ve been able to find is the following:

    Confirmation that it is a private company.
    http://investing.businessweek.com/research/common/symbollookup/symbollookup.asp?region=ALL&letterIn=Environmental+Protection+Agency&lookuptype=private&x=14&y=8

    And linking to information about it here: http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=5376654

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    Company Overview
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) develops and enforces regulations for human health and environment protection. The company researches and sets standards for environmental programs and delegates. It was founded in 1970 and is headquartered in Washington, District of Columbia with additional offices in Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, and Florida.

    Ariel Rios Building
    1200 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
    Washington, DC 20460
    United States
    Founded in 1970

    Key Executives
    The Hon. Stephen L. Johnson
    Administrator
    Dr. J. Paul Gilman
    Assistant Administrator for Office of Research and Development and Science Advisor
    Kelly Zito
    Director of The office of Public Affairs – Pacific Southwest

    Which is out of date, Johnson left in 2010 and Jackson now in that position – according to wiki

    “Post EPA On June 29, 2010, clean technology company FlexEnergy announced that Johnson had joined its Board of Directors.[13] According to Johnson, the company’s technology can minimize air pollutants in congested cities and industrial sites, as well as provide energy in remote areas around the world.[14]
    On November 11, 2010, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company announced that Johnson had been named to its Board of Directors.[15] ”
    Johnson also sits on the Board of Trustees at his alma mater, Taylor University.[16]

    This is FlexEnergy:http://www.flexenergy.com/former-head-of-the-epa-the-honorable-stephen-l-johnson-joins-board-of-flexenergy/

    …………….

    Anyway, Private Companies have owners. Private companies in the market place are there to serve their own interests, are in competition with other private companies. The EPA is destroying competition.., isn’t it? Actually, also milking the competition…? So who owns it?

    Why should any company in the US take any notice of any ‘legislation’ imposed on it by another private company?

    What’s going on here?

    The recentish court case American Trucking, I think, needed to push the unconstitutional bit further, but also, it must be relevant that a private company has been given such massive powers to affect other industries and competition. This is simply crazy that it isn’t taken into account. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitman_v._American_Trucking_Associations,_Inc.

    The EPA has also branched out into partnership deals – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Boiler

    When the EPA was challenged by the first batch of emails from CRU –

    United States Environmental Protection Agency reportThe United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had issued an “endangerment finding” in 2009 in preparation for climate regulations on excessive greenhouse gases. Petitions to reconsider this were raised by the states of Virginia and Texas, conservative activists and business groups including the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the coal company Peabody Energy, making claims that the CRU emails undermined the science.[109]

    The EPA examined every email and concluded that there was no merit to the claims in the petitions, which “routinely misunderstood the scientific issues”, reached “faulty scientific conclusions”, “resorted to hyperbole”, and “often cherry-pick language that creates the suggestion or appearance of impropriety, without looking deeper into the issues.”[110] In a statement issued on 29 July 2010, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said the petitions were based “on selectively edited, out-of-context data and a manufactured controversy” and provided “no evidence to undermine our determination. Excess greenhouse gases are a threat to our health and welfare.”[111]

    The EPA issued a detailed report on issues raised by petitioners and responses, together with a fact sheet,[112] and a “myths versus facts” page stating that “Petitioners say that emails disclosed from CRU provide evidence of a conspiracy to manipulate data. The media coverage after the emails were released was based on email statements quoted out of context and on unsubstantiated theories of conspiracy. The CRU emails do not show either that the science is flawed or that the scientific process has been compromised. EPA carefully reviewed the CRU emails and found no indication of improper data manipulation or misrepresentation of results.”[113]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_email_controversy

    The same whitewash as in England by vested interests sitting in judgement.

    The very many companies affected by these EPA decisions really have to get a grip here. Talk about unfair competition… :)

  196. The US EPA is the mother of all watermelons; green on the outside, red on the inside.

  197. gnomish says:

    drat those curly bulbs…
    interactive deposition map:
    http://nadp.sws.uiuc.edu/maps/Default.aspx

  198. E.M.Smith says:

    The EPA has been parasitized by a political movement. The goal is the destruction of the US economy as a “gift” to Gaia (and with wealth accumulating to folks like Maurice Strong who are now extensively invested in China).

    I had thought that the folks saying this was “by design” and based on a plan were, well, to put it politely “a bit wacky”… Then I ran into “Agenda 21″ in the FOIA-2011 emails and realized that real people were actually working to implement that abomination of a “plan”. Shutting down US coal facilities fits nicely with their goals, and if you can’t get it via CO2, well, some insignificant level of mercury will do…

    They even have a UN Web Site:

    http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/

    Dig through it enough and you find that they expect to tax and control substantially ALL global economic activity and life choices, with emphasis on CARBON and LAND USE, major secondary action on any and all WATER and even the air itself.

    Pretty much everything you need to live.

    I’d say it was “crazy talk” except that they are “working” hard to make it real. Oh, and they want about $600,000,000,000 per year of taxes (only on the rich countries…) to pay for all their parties. The UN IPCC is only one of their attacks on humanity. They are busy parasitizing various government agencies and NGOs world wide to centralized effective control under a UN guiding hand…

    Once that “Agenda 21″ light bulb goes off, a whole lot of otherwise “nutty” and “where did THAT come from?” things become very clear. (They have a stated plan of using “Local 21″ groups to move their agenda into action at every level of government from local to national, so it’s “whack a mole” and if you “win” in one venue, then a new one will just keep on steam rollering along.

    In that context, no US Carbon Cap? No problemo, call up the EPA and have them get the same thing by other manufactured “science”…

    FWIW, I’m very much interested in having a healthy and clean environment. I’ve got several LED bulbs in the house already and more to come. I’ve got more CFL bulbs than any other (but prefer incandescent in some uses). I have ZERO desire to go back to the smog days of 1960. I have said (and taken rocks for it…) that the human race can live comfortably on 1/2 of the planet and leave the rest for nature. I have been an advocate of solar and wind and other alternative power (where economically viable) for at least 40 years and ran a motor on ethanol back in the 1970s.

    However, what I’ve seen lately has caused me to repudiate the “Green” agenda. It is NOT earth friendly, it is only Human Hostile. Real conservation is not down the path of Agenda 21. We can see in this mercury example the answer to ‘why’. All that collateral damage is going to swamp any good, and then some. It is earth hostile to harm that many people that much and the result of their response is going to be damaging to real ‘green goals’. So if you hear their catch phrase of “Sustainable Development” please keep in mind that it is NOT sustainable and has NO Development in it. It is unsustainable destruction of the global economy. (In other places their leaders advocate a large reduction in human population, on the order of 90% dead. That is what they see as a good outcome. Their idea of “sustainable development” is the destruction of productive capacity to the point where most people die.)

    Again, I thought this kind of thing was “crazy talk” up until just a few weeks ago. Then I saw it in their own words and deeds. When a crazy person (or organization) says they want to destroy you, it may well be “crazy talk”, but only a fool would assume they are not crazy enough to do it. Especially when we now have a history of them acting on their words.

  199. Pat Moffitt says:

    EE Smith,
    When Lisa Jackson talks about promoting a green economy-be aware it has very little to do with green energy. Here’s Jackson from her 1/25/10 speech
    “When businesses won’t invest, economic possibilities are limited………
    Many environmental justice issues arise from these externalities. They often form at the intersection of our economic and environmental challenges. Fortunately there is a solution that addresses all of that: a growing green economy. Of all the potential paths forward for our economy, the green economy is the only one that presents numerous and significant opportunities for positive externalities.”

    It is important to note that the environmental justice (EJ) movement was born at Chicago’s United Church of Christ–one of the first EJ court cases was Altgeld Gardens and guess who the community organizer was? And we all remember the pastor. The first EJ legislation was entered into Congress by Al Gore at about the same time as he was ramping up Global Warming and it was Carol Browner (the former energy czar) that made it one of EPAs organizing principles.

    Green economics marries sustainability and environmental justice and is basically the replacement for what they see as the failed capitalist economy. Wikipedia has a great definition of green economics “Marxist economics with nature represented as a form of lumpen proletariat, an exploited base of non-human workers providing surplus value to the human economy”. Well isn’t that dandy?

    John Holdren our Science czar had perhaps the most honest definition of sustainability:
    “You cannot talk about sustainability without talking about people, about politics, about power and control.” Kind of makes you feel warm all over doesn’t it?

    I’ve been in this field for a long time and it has always amazed me that no-one really listens to what these people have been saying. I’ve actually shown people their writings and been told well they don’t really mean it. Well- yes they do. This ideology has been around for decades only the power has grown to the point where its becoming obvious even to the self blinded. Here’s James Speth a leader of the Green cause and founder of NRDC, CEQ under Jimmy Carter, Dean of Yale’s school of the environment, founder of the World Resources Institute and Carol Browner’s mentor- remember her?-:
    “The system of modern capitalism as it operates today will continue to grow in size and complexity and will generate ever-larger environmental consequences, outstripping efforts to cope with them…….The environmental agenda should expand to embrace a profound challenge to consumerism and commercialism and the lifestyles they offer, a healthy skepticism of growth mania and a redefinition of what society should be striving to grow, a challenge to corporate dominance and a redefinition of the corporation and its goals, a commitment to deep change in both the functioning and the reach of the market….”
    EPA is not trying to fix the environment- they are trying to fix us in keeping with the philosophy of Commoner and Marcuse that gave rise to their being on the first Earth Day. A philosophy that says do not fix the environment because the rapacious economic system promoted by cheap energy will simply undo any efforts. We must instead Protect the environment from further harm while correcting the economic forces that cause pollution and injustice.
    The Protect part of this strategy was clear from the beginning-its in EPAs name. The other part about stopping cheap energy and transforming the American economic system is only now becoming clear to some- but it was there from the very beginning- it just needed time to grow.

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