A Major Environmental Victory for the Obama Admin.

File this on top of the increasingly-large stack of policies on the back-burner for decades that the Obama Administration is finally implementing.

Wednesday, at long last, the EPA unveiled its new rule covering mercury and other toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants. […]

But this one is a Big Deal. It’s worth lifting our heads out of the news cycle and taking a moment to appreciate that history is being made. Finally controlling mercury and toxics will be an advance on par with getting lead out of gasoline. It will [] save tens of thousands of lives every year and prevent birth defects, learning disabilities, and respiratory diseases. It will make America a more decent, just, and humane place to live. […]

Third, this has been a long time coming. (Nicholas Bianco has some good history here.) An assessment of mercury was part of the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990. EPA stalled and stalled, got sued, and finally did the assessment. Sure enough, as had been known for years, they found mercury is harmful to public health. Then more stalling and more stalling until the Bush administration’s malformed 2004 proposal, which instantly got caught up in (and struck down by) the courts. So when the mercury rule finally goes into effect in 2014, 24 years will have passed since Congress said mercury needs regulating. It’s been a fight for enviros every step of the way.

Twenty two years ago Congress agreed that Mercury should be regulated, and now it’s finally going to become a reality under President Obama’s watch.

Do you really believe this would happen under a President Gingrich, President Paul, or President Romney? It would “kill jobs” they would say. It would be too costly. Or in Ron Paul’s case, it would be “an infringement on our individual right to die by poison.”

And as previously noted, our current congress has voted no less than 191 times to undermine environmental regulations. Because both parties are the same, right?

I recommend reading the full context provided by David Roberts at Grist. He’s right, it is a very big deal.

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  • mrbrink

    You are rolling.

    • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

      He really is. He even took on asshat Greenwald re Ron Paul. And Ashby won.

      http://chirpstory.com/li/3587

      Adding………Ashby also inspired me to do a post on Paul today.
      http://www.politicalruminations.com/2011/12/sixteen-things-you-should-know-about-ron-paul.html

      • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

        I am basking in Ashby’s glory, totally 10 times removed and thus barely vicarious, but nonetheless….Good show!

      • mrbrink

        Ha ha… Awesome! Thanks for posting that, Nicole.

        On both counts. Your post is incredible.

        I say it all the time: Ashby is the shit.

        I’m not messing with him, nor should Greenwald with a bullshit argument.

        I should take up twitter. I’m missing all this good stuff!

        • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

          Thanks, mrbrink.

          Greenwald is like a small child on Twitter. He has a penchant for calling people liars, and he loves, loves, loves to call them out when they disagree with his analysis.

          Very dismissive of the “Obama apologists” as he likes to call people that support the president.
          He’s a loudly whining bully screeching at dissenters from behind his proverbial fence.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=624879376 Kerry Reid

            I may be wrong (or I may be crazy), but since I don’t follow Greenwald on Salon anymore, maybe somebody could fill me in (not putting on the hip waders to go over there): wasn’t he using the edited Breitbartesque video of Carl Levin’s quote on NDAA as yet another cudgel? And yet he has the nerve to pout about somebody taking out the modifier “many” from his quote? Jerk.

  • http://www.osborneink.com OsborneInk

    But but but SMOG CAVE-IN

  • gescove

    President Obama is having a helluva good week. What a pleasure! More!