Time is running out, my good people. We now have only 7 days left to tell the EPA that we support their new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which could prevent tens of thousands of premature deaths and asthma attacks each year.
We need to take action now to make sure that this ruling, which will set the first ever national standards for mercury and other toxic pollutants released from coal-fired power plants, gets approved. These poisonous emissions from coal plants (which include mercury, arsenic, lead, and dioxins, as well as particulates) can be somewhat mitigated using existing technologies.
So why haven’t those coal-fired plants reduced them already, considering the huge health costs associated with air pollution?
Perhaps the simplest answer is that they have not been forced to, because of a loophole in the original Clean Air Act, which exempted plants built before the year 2000. So coal plants basically got a free pass to spew toxins in the air for an extra 30 years (original Act was signed in 1970).
This regulation is long overdue. I mean, it’s such a no-brainer that we should always attempt to ensure that our industrial base isn’t killing our population base, or sending health care costs through the roof for our nation.
It’s not just for those who live in the shadow of coal plants – this regulation affects the health of every single citizen. Toxic emissions from these plants pollutes the air we breathe (and that air is a shared resource – we don’t have ‘local air’ which doesn’t mix with that of the rest of the world), the water we drink and bathe in and grow our food with (again, it’s not just a local issue), and the soil, which is the basis of all life on earth.
If we continue to poison our air and our water and our soil, we’re idiots. I mean, isn’t it commonly understood that you don’t shit where you eat? Why do we continue to allow others to shit on our common table, then? I don’t know about you, but I’m not too happy about it, and I think it’s high time to cut it out.
The EPA is only accepting comments on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards until August 4th, 2011, so time is running out. That is one week from today. Seven whole days.
So please don’t just read this and move on. Go and submit your comments in favor of strong clean air regulations right now. It only takes a minute, and it could be the difference between business as usual – a free pass for polluters – and improved health and quality of life for every single one of us.
And if you want to be even more incredibly awesome, once you’ve submitted your comment, send the link to all of your family members, your local community organizations, your church, your bowling league, your Facebook friends and Twitter peeps, and your cousin’s internet marketing email list.
You will have just actively participated in our political system and stood up to be counted.
Your children and grandchildren will thank you for that. And I thank you for that also.