Is Someone Getting Away with Murder?

Women's Airforce Service Pilot (WASP) sits in the cockpit of her Curtiss A-25 awaiting clearance for takeoff from Liberty Field at Camp Stewart, circa 1944. (Courtesy of United States Army)

I was recently approached by the Moms Clean Air Force to sign on as an ally.  Their hope is that moms, sisters, daughters, grandmothers, aunts and GIRLFRIENDS will hold the key to finally getting limits on toxic emissions from power plants.  I agree that clean air is important, but the minute people start talking about emissions,boilers, process heaters, industrial facilities, biomass and subcategories, I lose interest.  I am the product of the USA Today generation – short, quick snippets delivered in full technicolor and frankly, these days it’s hard for me to keep up after 140 characters.  Toxins are also invisible, which makes them easy to forget.

Apparently, there is more going on in Washington than Anthony Weiner’s tweets.  It’s a little something called “Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.” These proposed standards will “limit mercury, acid gases and other toxic pollution from power plants, keeping 91 percent of the mercury in coal from being released to the air and save 17,000 lives. ” The EPA’s proposal comes 20 years after a mandate to set national limits on the amount of mercury and other toxic air pollution released from power plant smokestacks.  The government moves slow even when people are dying. Even the American Lung Association is getting behind the standards and they aren’t too happy that an extension announced last week for comments is slowing the implementation of the standards.

The American Lung Association is deeply troubled by the announcement today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to extend the comment period for the Power Plant Mercury and Air Toxics standards,” said Charles D. Connor in a statement.

Who’s agitating the politicians?  The new head of the EPA is one of Us.  Yes, she is a GIRLFRIEND and the first African-American GIRLFRIEND to run the EPA.  Administrator Lisa P. Jackson is coming under fire for trying to evoke standards.  In fact, there is a bipartisan collective introducing bill after bill to get the EPA out of the power plants’ business:

“Shortly after the EPA’s announcement, industry allies in Congress struck back with legislation to limit the agency’s permit veto authority granted to them under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the EPA Fair Play Act (S. 272), which would disallow the EPA to veto any permit after the Army Corps permit has already been issued; Rep. Dave McKinley (R-WV) introduced a companion bill in the House.”

Yes, politicians are fighting to protect toxic chemicals.  Just take a look at this map?  How are Nevada residents still breathing?  You don’t have to be an environmentalist to see this is bad politics. There is even talk of Kentucky becoming a sanctuary state, “If cities can ignore federal law to protect illegal immigrants, then why can’t Kentucky do it for coal companies?” That statement was made by Kentucky’s Chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Energy, Brandon Smith.

I am going to become a partner with the Moms Clean Air Force for several reasons beginning with my daughter and ending with the fact that there are NO “national limits on the amount of mercury and other toxic air pollution released from power plant smokestacks.”

I hope you will not only join with me, but also become an aggressive agitator.  When was the last time you helped to change the world? It’s been too long for me.  Let’s get this story out.  Steal this post, put your own name on it.  I am making it copyright-free.  Keep it going.  Do it now.  Do it for the generations coming after us.

Like my new page – Pass the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards Now. Like the Moms Clean Air Force page to follow the progress. Tell all of your friends. Call your politicians. Don’t let this die without resolution.