Today, Acting EPA Administrator and former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler sent his proposal to the Federal Register to declare that mercury pollution limits on coal plants are no longer “appropriate and necessary.”
This is his way of rewarding a few coal companies, like Murray Energy which he used to lobby for, in spite of united opposition from health professionals, utilities, moms, environmental leaders, and faith communities. But Wheeler cannot act unilaterally, and the EPA is required to take public comment into consideration in setting or changing regulations.
Mercury pollution impacts the most vulnerable among us: unborn babies and children. Babies exposed to mercury in the womb suffer long-term impacts on their memory, cognitive thinking, language, and fine motor skills.
As people of faith we are called to defend the vulnerable and care for future generations. This attack on our community’s health and goes against our core morals and values.
Since 2011, thanks to the Mercury and Air Toxics standards, mercury emissions were reduced by 70% or more. But now, Acting Administrator Wheeler wants to endanger that progress.
Of all the anti-environmental actions taken by the Trump administration, this one may be the most egregious. It threatens the health of children and babies. It’s also dangerous for adults: exposure affects vital organs like the lungs, kidneys, brain, and heart. And it disproportionately impacts people of color and lower income families who are more likely to live and work in areas near polluting power plants that emit mercury.
We will not stand for the sacrifice of human life and health just to make dirty coal a little more profitable. With your help, IPL will educate and inspire faith leaders and people of faith across the nation to stand up in defense of future generations. Make your voice heard today: click here to register your opposition to this outrageous proposal.