In case you missed Dominique’s op-ed in the New York Times, here are a few highlights:
“When I was pregnant with my first child, 35 years ago, one of the first things my doctor in Texas told me was to stop eating tuna, swordfish and other large, fatty fish because they were contaminated with mercury. What I didn’t know until I began working on children’s health issues is that the mercury in our food starts as a pollutant in our air.”
She goes on to explain how pregnant women who eat “mercury-laden fish” get poisoned:
“…when it crosses into the bloodstream, travels into the placenta and then makes its way into the fetus, where it deposits itself in the fattiest tissue available: the brain. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin. It disrupts the developing architecture of a baby’s brain. It can cause brain damage in infants, affecting a child’s ability to walk, talk, read and learn.”
Moms Clean Air Force started working on protecting children from mercury poisoning after the EPA had already spent more than 20 years working on standards that would require power plants to filter mercury.
“The power industry repeatedly sued the agency to block restrictions. But finally, in 2011, the E.P.A. finalized a rule, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, that imposed limits on mercury emissions.”
So who would want to unravel such an important health protection that have been beneficial in lowering mercury emissions?
Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist.
“Mr. Wheeler recently proposed a revision to the way the government evaluates the costs and benefits of regulating mercury emissions and, more broadly, air pollution.”
Wheeler has been nominated by President Trump to succeed Scott Pruitt as the administrator of the EPA. Tomorrow he’ll be sitting in front of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee for a public hearing. This is essentially his job interview to be the highest environmental official in the country. When Wheeler enters his confirmation hearing, he’ll see our moms in red shirts from fourteen states, fighting for their communities.
Moms are not the only ones supporting our opposition to Wheeler.
People across the country have commented on Dominique’s article, letting others know, Wheeler is not the guy for the top environmental protection job.
Here are a few of the comments:
“Dominique Browning’s detailed account of Donald Trump’s criminal environmental record under Wheeler, and Pruitt before him, expresses the outrage felt by many of us. She details rollback of needed regulations and failure to enforce existing regulations. 98% of scientists have shown climate change to be a threat to human survival. We slow global warming or bequeath a dying planet to our grandchildren. From this point of view, Donald Trump, and his minion Andrew Wheeler, are pushing catastrophe forward.”
Rinsc, South Carolina:
“…In terms of “cost and benefits,” the real cost of such actions is our children’s and grandchildren’s lives. There is no benefit other than satisfying greed.”
Eddie Cohen M.D:
“Coal is fuel from the dark ages, we now have harnessed the wind, the sun, and as fall a fall back natural gas to meet our energy needs. Pure, clean air free of carcinogens should be a no brainer except to people like Mr. Wheeler, Mr. Trump and Republican senators and congressman. This isn’t even about global warming, it’s about the air we breathe and the health of our children.”
Jude Parker Smith, Illinois:
“…The Trump administration has shown it is not pro-life in any sense of the word. This is just one more way it is choosing to harm instead of protect Americans.”
Heather Toney, Mississippi:
“Front-line/fence-line communities and communities of color are impacted even more due to their close proximity to coal fired power plants. More than 1 million people of color live within 1 mile of oil and gas operations and 1 in every 9 African American children suffer from asthma. It can’t be clearer: air pollution hurts unborn babies, children and communities. Wednesday the Senate will consider voting to confirm Wheeler, someone who works on behalf of polluters, not our kids. We should collectively call, email, write, send smoke signals; whatever it takes; and tell our senators this is NOT acceptable.”
Bevis Longstreth, New York:
“ What an important, timely and influential op-ed on the Wheeler appointment. Does the man have children? Have they given him grandchildren or is that likely down the road? The Senate Committee should summon them and ask if they have considered the consequences of the nominee’s now established record at the EPA. And, if his plans for the agency are dire enough, shouldn’t the House of Representatives consider defunding his agency while encouraging state action to fill the vacuum until voters can restore their Government’s sense of purpose (and common sense)?”
“Ask yourself, whose voice does he bring to the table? Whose interests does he serve? As EPA administrator he is acting as though he still represents the interests of the coal industry. But as a civil servant his job is to serve the public interest. To safeguard human health and the environment. The fact that he cannot or will not distinguish between his former and current roles is exactly what disqualifies him.”
David Terry, North Carolina:
“…it’s gratifying to see this remarkably useful, accessible, and convincing essay. Here’s a song for you and all the moms at Moms Clean Air Force (and thanks to all of you for your fine work):
Publius, New Jersey
“Important, under-reported story. Thank you.”
THANK YOU everyone who took the time to read, comment and share this important article on social media