There are 26 cement plants in the Great Lakes region alone, and they emitted more than 2,100 pounds of mercury in 2007.
It’s not like mercury isn’t regulated, but this was a proposal to reduce mercury emissions from cement plants by 92 percent. According to the EPA, cement plants account for 7 percent of mercury in industrial emissions, so a 92 percent reduction, even if achieved, wouldn’t change the overall picture much, except to force the closing of some plants, and require extensive and expensive (in the billions of dollars) modifications to the remainders.
The proposed new limit was 55 parts of mercury per million tons of cement produced. Apparently, the water and clay used to make cement naturally contain trace amounts of mercury which normally exit the process into the atmosphere.
We’re playing “stats tennis” here. I say one thing, and he converts it into less dangerous sounding numbers. If you think that a little more than one ton of mercury (in the Great Lakes region) is more than you want emitted into your air and water, you’re with me. If you think that reducing mercury emissions by 6.44% is insignificant for maternal/infant health, you’re with him. That’s about as simple as I can make it. Next!
Conor, by his own admission, is a “sensitive, modern guy” whose wife is pregnant and so they’re naturally concerned that none of this end up in his wife’s womb, causing defects in their baby.
Here’s my admission:
We’re eating differently around our house these days. My wife and I are expecting our first child this July, so — when we’re not mooning over the bump or laughing at every kick — we’re watching her diet. Of course, as a sensitive, modern guy, I’m trying my best to eat by the same rules.
No dodging that one. On that point, at least, Rohs has sunk my battleship. I am, by my own admission, sensitive and modern—especially when it comes to supporting my wife’s pregnancy. Not sure my argument can recover from this body blow, but on we go…
Contrary to Conor’s assertion that ”there is overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is a real and pressing human-caused problem” the truth is that serious, unbiased science confirms that climate is closely correlated to sunspot activity, which has been below normal for several years, and we’ve actually experienced global cooling lately.
My column wasn’t about climate change, so I didn’t really address it. The scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change is usually polled at or above 95% of peer-reviewed scientists. If you trust scientists to develop all the technology that makes your comfortable life in the USA possible, perhaps you might consider trusting them to accurately model the effects of CO2 emissions on the world’s climate?
Boy, Fred Upton must be doing something right. The election is 18 months away and already he’s being bombarded with uber left-wing spin regarding his supposedly weak environmental credentials
I believe Rep. Upton must be doing something right by the way he’s being targeted.
I believe Conor Williams must be doing something right by the way he’s being targeted [by Hank Rohs].
Seriously, if “getting criticized = doing something right,” then I believe that Newt Gingrich is the Second Coming of Christ. President Obama is an historically-great president. BP is top-notch at avoiding AND responding to oil spills. Hell, I think that it means that Christine O’Donnell is the winningest winner of any U.S. Senate candidate EVER!
**Update, 12:24AM: I just noticed that a commenter already made the “If criticism equals proof of right action, then President Obama is great!” joke. Commenter “pancakesandcoffee” beat me to it. Sorry about that!
One other thing: this bizarre standard for “what proves a politician is doing something right” reminds me of something that Secretary Henry Kissinger once said about being lampooned in Doonesbury: “The only thing worse than being in it would be not to be in it.”