Many of you know this already. A resolution to enforce stricter mercury emissions law failed on the US senate floor. With Republicans in the majority, this was a difficult task to begin with. Even if it had passed, the President was eagerly waiting to veto the resolution.
In the end, the voting was largely along party lines. Majority of the Republicans voted for the industry and a majority of the Democrats voted for the environment. To my surprise, 6 democrats voted against the resolution and 9 republicans supported the resolution. So who are these surprises?
Mercury loving Democrats
Max Baucus, Montana
Conrad, North Dakota
Dorgan, North Dakota
Byrd, West Virginia
Mercury hating Republicans
John McCain, Arizona
Gregg, New Hampshire
Sununu, New Hampshire
Chafee, Rhode Island
Alexander Lamar, Tennessee
If you think about it, these senators and their votes are no surprises. It is nothing but typical "red state blue state" behavior. The only exception however is, senator John McCain from Arizona. He seems to genuinely care about the environment. He has backed many environment initiatives in the past.
The folks on the side of the environment & health cited mercury poisoning and its adverse effect on the health of pregnant women and children. The folks on the side of the industry cited "market based approach" to reducing mercury pollution. Apparently, they (pro industry) favor the existing cap and trade system. Simply put, the cap and trade system allows a plant to exceed its permitted level of emissions by buying credits from a plant in the same region whose emissions are below what is allowed. With the existing system it would be 2018 before mercury emissions are cut by 70%. The new resolution would have reduced mercury emissions within a much shorter time frame.
Cap and Trade system ... Isn't it that the very principles of the Kyoto protocol ? Countries exceeding co2 emissions trade carbon credits with countries that reduce co2 emissions.
So the very same folks who oppose trading co2 (Kyoto protocol), favor trading Mercury!!!!!!!!. Smells like hypocrisy / campaign finance to me
Quote of the day
"Hypocrisy: prejudice with a halo" ...Ambrose Pierce