Friday, February 04, 2005

Poison the women and children first
The party of family values at work.
The Environmental Protection Agency ignored scientific evidence and agency protocols in order to set limits on mercury pollution that would line up with the Bush administration's free-market approaches to power plant pollution, according to a report released yesterday by the agency's inspector general.

Staff at the EPA were instructed by administrators to set modest limits on mercury pollution, and then had to work backward from the predetermined goal to justify the proposal, according to a report by Inspector General Nikki Tinsley.

Mercury is a toxic metal released as a byproduct by coal-burning power plants and other industries, and it is known to have a range of harmful health effects, especially on young children and pregnant women.

Good thing those tree-hugging, family-hating, blue-state liberals aren't running things. Sigh.

The article goes on to say that the agency disputes Tinsley's claim and says she doesn't understand the science involved. I can't say that I have the credentials to sort the issue out on it's scientific merits, but based on the administration’s history of sacrificing good science to desired results and of bending over backward to give the energy industry what it wants, I'm inclined to take Ms. Tinsley at her word.

This is a prime example of something I've been meaning to post on, but usually give up on in despair before I can produce anything. While most of our attention is usually focused on high profile things like the war, torture, the administration's lawlessness and efforts to gut the bill of rights, and the grotesque behavior of the Republican majorities in congress, the Bush camarilla has been slowly dismembering a hundred years of regulatory machinery.

The role of the US government as a regulator of business and shield to the public against predatory and outright murderous business practices dates back to, ironically, a Republican, Teddy Roosevelt. Republicans eat their ancestors. It's disgusting but true.

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