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Hundreds Of Documents Show WH Systematically Downplayed Mercury Problem

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:27 AM
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Hundreds Of Documents Show WH Systematically Downplayed Mercury Problem
WASHINGTON, April 5 "While working with Environmental Protection Agency officials to write regulations for coal-fired power plants over several recent months, White House staff members played down the toxic effects of mercury, hundreds of pages of documents and e-mail messages show.

The staff members deleted or modified information on mercury that employees of the environmental agency say was drawn largely from a 2000 report by the National Academy of Sciences that Congress had commissioned to settle the scientific debate about the risks of mercury.

In interviews, 6 of 10 members of the academy's panel on mercury said the changes did not introduce inaccuracies. They said that many of the revisions sharpened the scientific points being made and that justification could be made for or against other changes. Most changes were made by the White House's Office of Management and Budget, which employs economists and scientists to review regulations.

But scientists on the academy panel and others outside it as well as environmentalists and politicians expressed concern in recent interviews that a host of subtle changes by White House staff members resulted in proposed rules that played down the health risks associated with mercury from coal-fired power plants. The proposal largely tracks suggestions from the energy industry. While the panel members said the changes did not introduce outright errors, they said they were concerned because the White House almost uniformly minimized the health risks in instances where there could be disagreement."

EDIT

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/07/politics/07MERC.html
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Fovea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:52 PM
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1. From the air quality in NY post 911
to Mercury in the air, this administration has been Industry's Bitch, constantly working against the health and well being of its citizenry, in favor of the Corporate dollar.
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Kool Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 08:54 PM
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2. I just read this article and it makes me want to scream.
Don't these assholes know that WE ALL LIVE ON THE SAME EARTH? These people must have children or grandchildren, even if they don't care about themselves? Do they not believe the scientists? I don't understand this kind of logic.
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Fovea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:11 PM
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3. They do not live on the same earth.
They live on a pre-rapture earth, and they expect to be spirited away into Godly bliss.
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Kool Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I keep forgetting about that.
Their prospective is different. Sheesh.
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Fovea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 03:51 PM
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7. What they don't seem to remember
is that their God bid them to be stewards of creation.
What they are doing to the earth cannot even vaguely called that.
As a Pagan, what they are doing to our Mother is beyond criminal.
But my Goddess is a Goddess of poetic justice.
Ashcroft is the first, being eaten alive by his own bile.
He will not be the last...
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:25 PM
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5. Sometimes I seriously wonder if Mercury toxicity is not the reason behind
our national insanity.
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Bog Frog Donating Member (214 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 10:59 AM
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6. email just rec'd from House Resources Committee (the majority of course):
"FYI-In case you haven't seen the story this morning. Mercury scare all about politics, not science." (their emphasis)

An article from the WSJ is attached. Here's a snippet:

REVIEW & OUTLOOK

The Mercury Scare
April 8, 2004; Page A16

If you've read a newspaper lately, chances are you've seen an ad claiming that millions of women who eat tuna and other fish with mercury are poisoning their children. That sure sounds bad. Only problem is, it's a whole lot abalone.

About the only thing the ads do prove is that trusting "environmentalists" in a political debate is harmful to your health and the national well being. Their fury this time is directed at Bush Administration plans to reduce mercury emissions from utilities 70% by 2018. They want the regulation to go even further -- never mind that the Clinton Administration did nothing to reduce emissions -- and their strategy is to scare pregnant women.

~snip~

The Bush plan is a sensible "cap and trade" reduction of the kind that worked for acid rain. If the White House has made a mistake, it is in not fighting back aggressively enough on the health dangers posed by this mercury scare. The greens are warning pregnant women away from fish that provide vitamins A, E and C, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. Fish not only help reduce heart attacks and interfere with the progression of breast cancer, they contribute to infant eye and brain development.

The silver lining here may be that these environmentalist scares are becoming so routine and over-the-top that they are having less public impact. Americans are figuring out that green activists have abandoned any claim to scientific objectivity as they pursue political power. Ignore their claims, and enjoy your next tuna sandwich.


I wish I could post a link but the text of the article was in the email, and the WSJ charges for access.

I know NOTHING about this issue, but the blatant spin in this article made me dizzy, and when I regained my equilibrium I decided to look for the facts. Where ARE the facts? Help, please?
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