Ohio Congressman: EPA Administrator Jackson is the Biggest Stumbling Block to American Job Creation

Congressman Bob Gibbs (R-OH) released the following statement regarding EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s comments yesterday about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Air Transport Rule (CATR) and Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) proposals:

“Yesterday, EPA Administrator Jackson accused Michael G. Morris, chairman and chief executive officer of one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, of using scare tactics and misleading the public. She has once again managed to ignore the reality of the havoc her agency has managed to wreak on our economy.

“Administrator Jackson is the biggest stumbling block to American job creation. At a time when families are struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table, the EPA wants to take away their paychecks and shut off their lights. Congress didn’t give EPA the authority to pursue an agenda that hurts the very people it’s supposedly trying to protect.

“Even with these facts staring her in the face, Jackson has tried to vilify an organization that puts paychecks in over 18,000 Americans in eleven states. She refuses to believe that they know what they are talking about when they say they will be forced to lay-off nearly 600 power plant workers, totaling nearly $40 million in annual wages. Furthermore, according to a recent study by the non-partisan National Economic Research Associates Inc. (NERA), the new regulations are expected to cost 53,500 Ohio jobs and 1.44 MILLION American jobs by 2020.

“Of course, the effects to the communities will be far greater than these direct job losses alone, as electricity prices increase and nearby businesses suffer in the wake of plant closures. Not to mention that reduced energy capacity will increase the occurrence of rolling blackouts and electrical shortages throughout the country.

“In Ohio we mine coal and burn coal, and have thousands of jobs because of coal. We are proud of our coal heritage. The EPA has waged war on fossil fuels and I hope that my colleagues in Congress will join me in putting a stop to it.”


3 thoughts on “Ohio Congressman: EPA Administrator Jackson is the Biggest Stumbling Block to American Job Creation”




    Dr. James H. Rust 1.

    In its attempt to restrict use of fossil fuels, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed new rules to reduce the amount of mercury in effluents from coal-and petroleum-fired power plants. Of course, one might question the sense of these EPA rules when at the same time the EPA is endorsing use of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) for lighting to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. CFLs consume one-fifth the energy of conventional incandescent light bulbs. By Congressional mandate, incandescent light bulbs are to be phased out starting in 2012.

    CFLs contain about 4 milligrams of mercury and when you factor in over one billion CFLs in use today and fast growing, you have a vast potential for mercury contamination directly inside homes from bulb breakage and improper disposal. When the four billion light sockets in homes are filled with CFLs (18 tons of mercury), considerations of mercury contamination from coal-burning power plants may look silly.

    The EPA estimates annual mercury emissions from power plants is 50 tons per year. If you spread this amount over the three million square miles of the lower 48 states, you get a density of 0.28 milligrams per 1000 square feet. A conservative estimates for CFLs employed in homes would be 10 CFLs per 1000 square feet. This would give a potential mercury contamination directly in homes of 40 milligrams per 1000 square feet. Let us assume annual breakage of one percent; then mercury contamination directly inside homes would amount to 0.40 milligrams per 1000 square feet. Mercury contamination from power plants will be mostly confined outside and individuals spend most of their time inside. So exposure to mercury contaminants from CFLs will be far greater than threats from power plants.

    No mention has been made of the billions of fluorescent light bulbs that have been used in homes, schools, factories, and businesses for more than fifty years. These bulbs contain fifty milligrams of mercury and their pollution potential is staggering.

    Paul Driessen, senior policy advisor for the Congress of Racial Equality, recently published an article “And the beat-down goes on” which showed “proposed EPA rules will do more harm than good for human health, especially for minorities.” This article stated total mercury emissions from all United States ’ coal-fired power plants were 41 tons annually, dispersed globally. At the same time total emissions globally by man and natural causes were 9100 tons, most due to nature.

    An article in the July 2010 Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics stated the total mercury emissions globally was 8280 toms with seventy percent due to natural causes such as from oceans, forest fires, and volcanoes. Global mercury emissions from power plants were 880 tons with only fifty tons due to power plants in the United States .

    Additional information in the Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics is mercury is present in petroleum. They state combustion of oil emits 0.058 grams of mercury per ton of petroleum which is similar to the emissions from the combustion of coal. The United States consumes 660 million tons of petroleum for transportation uses each year. This results in mercury emissions of 42 tons per year which is the same as emissions from coal. After success in reducing mercury emissions from power plants, is the EPA going to demand scrubbers on the tail pipes of cars?

    Tom Fanning, President of Southern Company, recently testified before Congress new EPA rules would cost the company $3 billion in new expenses that may requires a rate hike to electricity users of twenty-five percent. Is poverty a bigger health hazard than fixing non-existent environmental problems such as mercury emissions from power plants?

    For those living in Atlanta , Georgia , water bills in homes are exceeding $100 per month. By increasing residential rates for electricity above the present annual rate of $0.12 per kilowatt-hour, the EPA will make home ownership impossible for many residents—especially for our African-American community.

    The EPA wants a ninety percent reduction in mercury effluents from coal-fired power plants that don’t employ scrubbers. This can be done at great expense and negligible reduction in mercury effluents to the atmosphere. We know poverty is dangerous; we have no confirmed evidence of harm from mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants or; for that matter, fluorescent light bulbs.

    Adding more light about problems of mercury contamination is the article “Disconnected Dots in The Mercury Debate” by Professor R. Harold Brown posted June 16, 2006 on the Georgia Public Policy Foundation website. University of Georgia Professor Emeritus R. Harold Brown is the author of the well-know book “The Greening of Georgia: The Improvement of the Environment in the Twentieth Century.”

    Disconnected Dots in the Mercury Debate by R. Harold Brown

    Children can produce a remarkable horse drawing from a numbered, connect-the-dot outline, but confusion reigns when dots are missing or numbers are missing. Watching the efforts of activists to link mercury from electric power plants to danger to unborn babies of pregnant mothers is much like watching a confused young “artist” try to make sense of unnumbered dots.

    Try connecting the dots between coal-burning plants and mercury deposition. Power plants in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Indiana burned 75 percent more coal, averaging 53 million tons per state per year in 2002-04 than those in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina, which averaged 30 million tons per state. The Northern plants emitted nearly twice as much mercury as the Southern states. But mercury deposited in rain averaged 61.6 pounds per 1,000 square miles in the Northern states, 29 percent less than in the Southern states.

    Then there’s the missing link between federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates of mercury deposition in eastern states and mercury in fish. In 13 states with less than 64 pounds of mercury deposited per thousand square miles in 1994, mercury in largemouth bass averaged 0.53 parts per million from 1990-1995. In 11 states where deposits were higher, bass had only one-half as much mercury.

    A Web page by the U.S. Geological Survey gives “geochemical” mercury concentrations (mostly of stream sediments) for Georgia counties. Samples in North Georgia counties averaged three times more mercury than Coastal Plain counties (excluding Glynn County, which was highest in Coastal Plain counties by almost 10 times), yet mercury in bass is two-and-a-half times higher in Coastal Plain streams. If mercury in fish cannot be connected to mercury in stream sediments, how can the mercury in the blood of mothers who eat fish be connected to mercury in coal smoke?

    Mercury in fish may pose a danger to unborn babies in some parts of the world, but not here. The EPA set the “safe level” of mercury at 5.8 micrograms per liter (µg/L) in mothers’ blood — 10 times lower than the threshold at which neurological damage in fetuses begins to appear. And further 58 µg/L represents a lower level of uncertainty about the “real” threshold (85 μg/L) in pregnant women in the Faroe Islands. Thus the so-called “safe level” is set at least 14 times lower than the level that causes neurological effects in unborn children.

    Women in the Faroe Islands study that EPA used to establish mercury toxicity had a median concentration of 24.2 µg/L in the blood. The average for 3,637 American women in 1999-2002 was 0.92 µg/L, less than 4 percent of the average for Faroe Island women. None of the U.S. women had levels as high as the threshold set by EPA; fewer than 6 percent had levels above the “safe level” of 5.8 µg/L.

    The main cause of high mercury levels in Faroe Islands women was consumption of whale meat. Would it be the same for a diet of hamburgers, salads, or broiled bass? Not likely! Health officials have never documented a single U.S. case of damage to unborn babies from mercury in fish, and statistical connections have been vague and inconclusive.

    There are two good reasons for this: Diets of American mothers don’t cause high levels of mercury in the blood, and most studies of mothers elsewhere with high mercury have found no effects on babies. In fact, studies of 700 to 800 women in the Seychelles Islands found mercury levels were 40 percent higher than the Faroe Islanders’ – with no effects of mercury on neurological development. In fact, in some of the Seychelles’ tests development was better with increases in mercury, perhaps reflecting the benefits of increased fish in the diet.

    Mercury is decreasing in the environment and probably in American women. Summaries of blood mercury in American women by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate decreases from 1999 to 2002, but the CDC concluded that “the declines were not statistically significant” from the first two years of study to the second two. They also stated that “At least 2 more years of data are needed to best determine whether Hg (mercury) exposure has declined among women of childbearing age in the United States.” Yet the survey did not continue. If this agency has a “consensus” on the need for strengthening controls over mercury emissions, perhaps its consensus is trending in the wrong direction.

    The dots representing mercury in fish and people, health effects, power plants and regulation are scattered across the landscape and badly numbered. That hasn’t stopped the bold freehand of government agencies and environmental “push” groups from conjuring up a unicorn and trying to convince us it’s a horse.

    1. Dr. James H. Rust has a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering, a Master’s Degree in Nuclear Engineering, and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Nuclear Engineering. He has over fifty years experience in areas related to energy policy and six years studying climate science.

  2. Obama could not get his economy-killing carbon legislation throught the Congress so he is using the administrative back door. The Senate Democrats are enabling him to do this. The House tried to stop it, but it died in the Senate and this will be the way it is until Obama is out of office on January 20 2013.

  3. Lisa Jackson is doing exactly as all left wing agendas do. Reduce the standard of living and kill people, all in the name of saving them.

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