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Public Statements

Disapproval of EPA Emission Standards Rule--Motion to Proceed--

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PAUL. The question is, Is pollution getting better or worse? With all the hysteria, one would think: My goodness. Pollution is getting so much worse. All measurements of pollution show we are doing a good job and much better than we have ever done. Most of the emissions--the big emissions, sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide--have been going down for decades. We are doing a good job with pollution.

This rule is about mercury. Powerplants emit this much of the mercury, as shown on this chart. Do my colleagues know that over half the mercury comes from natural sources? Forest fires emit more mercury than powerplants do. We already have eight regulations at the Federal level on mercury. We have a plethora of regulations at the State level.

The question is, Is mercury getting worse or is mercury lessening? For the last 5 years, the amount of mercury that is being emitted has been cut in half. If we measure mercury in the blood of women and children, it is getting less. If we say: What is a safe level of mercury in the blood, we are below that. If we look at populations who eat nothing but fish, the Seychelles Islands, they have found

zero evidence that mercury is hurting any of them. When we look at mercury emissions, they are going down.

So the question is, Are we going to have a balance in our country? Does the other side care whether people work? We can do everything possible to try to eliminate this last 1 percent, but the question is, At what cost? Many are estimating 50,000 people are going to lose their jobs. Do we care if people have a job? Yes. We want to be safe, but there has to be a balancing act.

The question we have to ask is: Is the environment cleaner or worse off? The environment is so much cleaner than it used to be. The rules in place are somewhat balanced and are keeping pollution under control. What we don't want to do is go so far over the top that we lose jobs. This new rule is estimated to lose 50,000 jobs.

I think the American people need to have a say in this. We don't need to give up that power to unelected bureaucrats we can't remove from office. Let's let our representatives get involved to have more of a balance in the regulations.

I suggest we vote in favor of this resolution.

I thank the Chair.


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