Every inversion along the Wasatch Front in Utah gains new advocates for clean air and water. At times, the Salt Lake City metro area is the most polluted city in America. The recent EPA ruling on mercury emissions from coal fired power plants has clean air and water advocates claiming victory. The data is clear. Paul Krugman, Nobel Laureate in Economics and columnist at The New York Times explains:
…EPA’s cost-benefit analysis only considers one benefit of mercury regulation, the reduced loss in future wages for children whose IQs are damaged by eating fish caught by freshwater anglers. There are without doubt many other benefits to cutting mercury emissions, but at this point the agency doesn’t know how to put a dollar figure on those benefits.
Even so, the payoff to the new rules is huge: up to $90 billion a year in benefits compared with around $10 billion a year of costs in the form of slightly higher electricity prices. This is, as David Roberts of Grist says, a very big deal.
So why is it now, that to a republican in America this new ruling is job killing and revenue hurting when the quantifiable benefits are so huge?
Why does the GOP hate the EPA?
“Cic,” a commenter to the above referenced article makes a valid point about the lobbying money’s influence and irony of the modern Fox News republican:
So let me get this straight. We know, no we have known for some time now actually … that methylmercury is rather bad news for the fetus and mother, yet righties who screech about “The sanctity of life,” and “Protecting the unborn,” and “A culture of life” want to argue money?
Either money trumps all the right’s screeching about “The sanctity of life,” and “Protecting the unborn,” and “A culture of life,” or they’ve done a “cost analysis” and determined the unborn just aren’t worth what it would cost, read “cost” as wouldn’t be available for giving to the wealthiest of the wealthy in the form of “corporate welfare” and tax cuts, if we spend it on reducing methylmercury.
More needs to be said about the sudden and recent modern Fox News republican and their sudden hatred for the EPA. The influence of national and international corporate lobbyists who are most likely behind the pro polluting, pro business and pseudo job creating platform.
Investing in short- sighted fossil fuel infrastructure can create jobs although long-term society costs should not be sacrificed. We can create jobs with clean energy power plants. Long term thinking and investment needs to be dominant, not short-sighted easy money for national and international corporate parties.
We are talking about protecting our nation’s and regional future brain trust. Our future competitiveness depends on investing in younger generations. This most definitely includes reducing environmental toxins
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