Tomorrow (Wednesday) morning, the Senate will vote on Sen. Inhofe’s (R-OK) Congressional Review Act to repeal EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for power plants. The vote is expected to be close. Please contact your senators and urge them to vote NO.
Background: Sen. James Inhofe has proposed a resolution that would void health standards to reduce mercury and other toxic air pollution from power plants and permanently block EPA from re-issuing similar safeguards. Passage of this resolution would be devastating to children. Experts estimate that up to 1 in 6 US women of childbearing age have enough mercury in their bodies to put a baby at risk for mercury poisoning.
Mercury and the other dangerous air toxins affected by this resolution damage brain development and cause birth defects, as well as cancer, heart disease, and many other conditions in adults.
Under special rules that govern this kind of vote, Sen. Inhofe only needs 51 votes to pass this, not the normal 60 needed for most Senate votes. That’s why your Senators votes against it are so critical.
Key Talking Points:
- Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin that harms children’s developing brains, and power plants are the largest industrial source of mercury in the U.S.
- The EPA has established common sense standards to reduce toxic pollution from thousands of power plants nationwide. It would save as many as 17,000 lives a year, prevent respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and greatly reduce the exposure of children to mercury and lead.
- Please stand up for clean air and kids’ health and OPPOSE the CRA on the Mercury Rule.
IF YOU HAVE TIME TO MAKE ADDITIONAL POINTS
- A major reason polluting industries are fighting so hard against these regulations is that they don’t want to be forced to spend the cash they’re sitting on to abate mercury pollution and create jobs, rather than hoarding it for shareholders.
- Many of the power plants and factories that would receive pollution-reduction upgrades under the new air toxics rule are located in the same highly industrialized regions where unemployment is particularly high – and jobs installing or operating pollution controls at American facilities cannot be sent abroad.