Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Republicans in Congress press attack on toxic cement standards.. while a key cement company sues critics!

We were dismayed, though not shocked, to read this morning in Politico Pro (sorry, you do need a subscription) that the toxic cement lobby is pressing ahead with its efforts in Congress to block much-needed EPA standards to limit mercury and other toxic emissions from cement plants.

You may recall that in April, the head of a major cement company, Titan Cement, came before Congress to urge Congress to provide fuel to this effort to block the EPA standards:
http://republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/Media/file/Hearings/Energy/041511_2/Papadopoulos.pdf

There are several interesting wrinkles. Titan America is actually a branch of company based in Greece, whose economy, as we all know, in the toilet. The stock market went up today amid hopes that Greece would not default on its debts. The Titan CEO did not play up the Greek angle when he urged Congress to squash the EPA. Nor did the company's Republican congressional patrons.

Of greater interest perhaps are the bullying tactics that Titan is using to try silencing critics of a planned new facility in North Carolina.

Only a few weeks before its congressional appearance, Titan actually sued sued two North Carolina residents – one is a local pediatrician and the other is a mother -- for bringing their concerns about this plant to our local commissioners.
There's an interesting piece about this on Youtube which I don't believe is part of the congressional hearing record, though perhaps it should be:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MofHuCRRoZw&feature=player_embedded

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