Contact FreedomWorks

400 North Capitol Street, NW
Suite 765
Washington, DC 20001

  • Toll Free 1.888.564.6273
  • Local 202.783.3870


Mercury Rising in the U.S--Or Are Other Nations to Blame?

Where are Man-Made Mercury Emissions Originating?

(This map shows the concentration of anthroprogenic mercury emissions over South Africa, India, East Asia and Central Europe, as opposed to the United States.)

The EPA’s new Utility MACT rule—the costliest rule ever promulgated by the agency—was created to reduce mercury emissions coming from coal-fired power plants.  The EPA claims health benefits as a result of these emission reductions, but are the figures for mercury levels being cited by the EPA actually a result of the industry they are waging war on? What if after all these regulations were put into place the only result were higher prices and less reliable energy for millions of Americans, due to the Obama administration’s  war on coal.  

The EPA themselves published findings that would go against their claims and other similar Obama agencies and committees that power plants are a dangerous source of mercury levels.  In fact, EPA is on the recorded as saying that, “the greatest mercury exposure to the general population is from eating fish.” as well as, “Over 83 percent of the mercury deposited in the U.S originates from international sources”.  The other 17 percent of mercury emissions is accounted for by U.S and Canada.  It is also important to note that mercury is a natural element found in our air, water and soil and that this 17 percent accounts for the four primary sources of emissions: new releases occurring naturally, re-releases of historic mercury, and new releases from fossil fuels, and other production.  An EPA report on Mercury given to Congress stated that about 3 percent of global emissions of mercury is from U.S sources and of this about 50-75 percent is a product of human sources.  Relative to total global emissions, this is a very minute number, which raises significant concerns about whether the benefits from the Utility MACT rule are worth the costs.  

We must ask ourselves, and more importantly, Obama’s EPA, why they are attacking a vital American industry for potential mercury levels that are largely unrelated to U.S sources.  The Utility MACT is said to cost 1.65 million jobs by 2020 and raise energy costs for Americans by 10 percent to 19 percent. Once again we must remember that the EPA’s costly new mandates under the Utility MACT rule do nothing to reduce the primary sources of mercury, because they are not generated by U.S sources.  Tell the Obama administration to stop waging an unnecessary and highly costly war on American energy, which will result in no economic or large health benefits.  

Call your senators today and tell them they need to support S.J Res. 37 introduced by Sen. Jim Inhofe.  This is a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to bypass the procedural hurdles and pass the resolution with a simple majority.  Call your Senators and ask them to support S.J Res. 37.  It’s the only chance to repeal and replace a rule that will kill American jobs.