Wednesday, November 15, 2006

AMA gives thumbs down to bad Bush mercury plan; Northeastern states eye tougher controls

The American Medical Association has officially given a thumbs-down to the industry-friendly Bush administration plan, which would permit power companies to trade emissions of toxic mercury. The decision came at the AMA’s semi-annual policy meeting.

(You may recall the Bush administration recently rejected the AMA’s recommendation that the EPA set tougher standards for soot particles in the air. The Bush administration did this to protect the coal-burning electric power industry and other sources of soot. It did not provide a coherent explanation of why it rejected the AMA’s advice as well as that of the agency’s own science advisers – an obvious sign that the decision was tainted by politics. In that regard, it was identical to EPA’s bad mercury decision.)

State pollution control plans in response to the EPA mercury rule – which is being challenged in court – are due this Friday. Many states have already declared they want tougher controls on mercury emissions.

The Bush administration faces the seeds of another possible state rebellion today as northeastern states meet in Richmond to discuss tougher pollution controls on power plants and other sources of smog and soot: Projections done by the Northeastern states confirm that the Bush administration’s cleanup strategies will not be adequate to meet public health standards.

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