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Sierra Daily

Oct 06, 2011

House of Representatives Creates Jobs--for Undertakers


Well that was a bold move on the jobs front! While President Obama was over in the East Room urging Congress to vote on his American Jobs Act (and openly ridiculing the notion that rolling back environmental regulations would do anything to increase employment), the House was voting to pass H.R. 2681, a bill that would block critical protections against mercury pollution from cement plants. Cement kilns are second only to coal-fired power plants as sources of toxic mercury, producing some 23,000 pounds a year. But today's vote in the House would nullify restrictions on mercury pollution from the cement industry, as well as regulations on dioxins, arsenic, and lead. Together with last week's passage of the TRAIN Act, which similarly repealed protections from mercury et al from power plants, the EPA estimates that the bills will result in

  • 32,500 more premature deaths;
  • 19,500 additional heart attacks; and
  • 208,000 asthma attacks that otherwise would have been avoided.

So there's your alternative jobs bill! After all, 32,500 people don't just bury themselves; it will take lots of embalmers, gravediggers, ministers, and florists to meet the robust new demand.

--Paul Rauber

Photo by iStock.

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