Evangelicals Praise EPA's New Mercury Rule

The Evangelical Environmental Network has praised the passing of Mercury and Air Toxics Standards by the Environmental Protection Agency.

It has been 20 years since Congress passed the Clean Air Act that limited environmental emission by companies. The new standards, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “will slash emissions of these dangerous pollutants [mercury, arsenic, acid gas, nickel, selenium, cyanide] by relying on widely available, proven pollution controls that are already in use at more than half of the nation’s coal-fired power plants.”

The Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) has worked tirelessly on the issue of mercury poisoning and pollution, spending over $200,000 on ads and campaigns to raise awareness. The network’s website states: “Christians are called by our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, to love our neighbors and do unto others as we would have them do unto us.”

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“We are thereby called to protect our most vulnerable populations, including unborn children. Many Christians are unaware of an important threat to the unborn child that must be addressed: mercury pollution and poisoning. Just as we successfully dealt with lead and other toxins in gasoline as a society, so must we now deal with mercury,” the EEN said.

That was in April, and today Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox, President and CEO of EEN issued the following statement: “For many it might seem highly unusual for an Evangelical Christian to stand alongside EPA Administrator Jackson this morning. I am standing with her today because we agree on the need to protect children from mercury.”

According to the EPA, “Mercury has been shown to harm the nervous systems of children exposed in the womb, impairing thinking, learning, and early development.”

The new regulations are estimated to “prevent as many as 11,000 premature deaths, 130,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms and about 6,300 fewer cases of acute bronchitis among children every year.”

Rev. Hescox concluded his statements by saying, “We have been waiting since the 1990 Clean Air Act for this day to come…our unborn children and infants deserve it.”

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