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Monday, November 24, 2008

"Breathe easier over mercury"

The Post lauds Colorado's Air Quality Control Commission's new rules calling for an 80% reduction in mercury coming from smokestacks by 2014 and 90% by 2019.

So, after the reduction, how much mercury will be allowed to come out of smokestacks?

They have no idea. 

According to the Post, no one does. The first step is to determine "accurate measures of mercury emissions." 

In other words, they do not know how much mercury is out there, but they are damn sure it is too much.

The Post affirms its philosophy that no regulation is bad. What will that regulation do? Don't know. Don't care. Regulations are good. Corporations are bad.

Mercury may well need to be reduced. These new regulations, however, do not even ask that question. They mandate private action without even asking if it is necessary.

The knee-jerk environmentalist will no doubt argue that all mercury is bad and should be eliminated, no matter how finite its risks may be at infinitesimal levels. Apply that argument to all dangerous substances and see where it leads.

Too many of us wish we could. Too many of us are working toward that goal.

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