Courtesy of Wikipedia;
Unborn babies and young infants are very sensitive to methyl mercury's effects. Methyl mercury causes central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) damage. How bad the damage is depends on how much poison gets into the body. Many of the symptoms of mercury poisoning are similar to those seen in cerebral palsy. In fact, methyl mercury is thought to cause a form of cerebral palsy.
In an implausible argument in favor of status-quo regulations, Rep. Ed Whitfield strongly objected to new regulations from the Clean Air Act that specifically targets the coal industry (which has been re-branded the new clean- coal )
“There are already strict regulations relating to mercury emissions, there is not going to be any benefit from this new regulation in reducing mercury levels. Whitfield said, then added,
"Well, the scientists that testified before our committee were unanimous in the view that there is not going to be any benefit from this new regulation in reducing mercury levels. All of the benefits were calculated from the reduction of particulate matter, which is already covered under ambient air quality standard regulations. "This is about closing coal plants, and that’s precisely what it is about."
Apparently not suffering a hideous death, or being permanently brain-damaged from mercury poisoning is not enough of a benefit.
Once upon a time automobile manufacturers saw no benefit for seat belts.
Every regulation comes into being after the harm has been done.
Only Republicans and the Chinese government see no need for any regulations.
but wait--what's this;
Chinese Citizens Protest Over Coal Plant
Tens of thousands of residents in China’s southern Guandong Province gathered in the streets, occupying a highway to demonstrate against the development of a new coal plant near Shantou city. The residents say existing coal plants in the area are fouling local air and water, and are making people sick.
China’s coal use has exploded over the last few decades. Since 1980, coal consumption in China has grown 500%, and now represents three quarters of consumption in Asia. That has coincided with a five-fold increase of lung cancer since 1970, now the leading cause of death in China.
At least there's hope for China.
They don't have to deal with Republicans.