With Friends Like These….

Brian Cook

(Via BushGreenwatch): The nation's environmental health protections suffered a severe setback this week when six Democratic Senators joined 45 Republicans to defeat an effort to overturn the Bush Administration's new rule regulating mercury emissions. Health experts assert that the new EPA rule, which institutes a "cap-and-trade" system for mercury emissions, will cause dangerous hot spots of mercury pollution in regions where a power plant can buy pollution "credits" rather than reduce its emissions. Democrats joining in the 51-47 vote against repealing rule included Senators Max Baucus (MT); Robert Byrd (WV); Kent Conrad (ND); Byron Dorgan (ND): Ben Nelson (NE); Mark Pryor (AR). Senator Jim Jeffords (I-VT) called the new rule illegal. "After careful review, I have concluded that… this was an intentional and illegal attempt to circumvent the law and that it was designed to benefit big energy companies at the expense of the public health," said Jeffords.

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Brian Cook was an editor at In These Times from 2003 to 2009. He now works on the editorial staff of Playboy magazine.
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