|00:00:00||THE DISTINGUISHED CHAIRMAN, PARTICULARLY FOR HIS LEADERSHIP.|
|00:00:06||SPEAKER, I RISE IN STRONG OPPOSITION TO THIS BILL.|
|00:00:10||IF THIS BILL IS ENACTED, AN INTOLERABLE NUMBER OF AMERICAN BABIES WILL BE BORN WITH BIRTH DEFECTS.|
|00:00:19||THE MAJORITY SETS OUT A FALSE CHOICE.|
|00:00:23||ROLL BACK CLEAN AIR PROTECTIONS OR LOSE JOBS.|
|00:00:27||THE REAL CHOICE IS A MORAL ONE.|
|00:00:30||BUT THE ECONOMIC CASE FOR DEFEATING THIS BILL IS ALSO COMPELLINGLY CLEAR.|
|00:00:39||P.A.'S CEMENT KILN RULES ARE DESIGNED TO HE ARE DUES HARMFUL POLLUTANTS FROM CEMENT PRODUCTION, INCLUDING METALS LIKE MERCURY, HYDROCARBONS, PARTICULATE MATTER, SULFUR DIOXIDE AND NITROGEN OXIDES.|
|00:00:53||E.P.A. STANDARDS ARE BOTH ACHIEVABLE AND DEFENSIBLE.|
|00:00:57||THEY WILL YIELD FAR MORE ECONOMIC BENEFITS THAN COSTS, PRESERVING JOBS, AND AMERICANS' HEALTH.|
|00:01:03||THE MOST HARMFUL OF THESE CEMENT KILN POLLUTANTS IS MERCURY.|
|00:01:09||CONGRESS REQUIRED E.|
|00:01:11||P.A. TO REGULATE MERCURY EMISSIONS IN THE 1990 CLEAN AIR ACT AMENDMENTS AND TO IDENTIFY THE LARGEST SOURCES OF MERCURY REDUCTIONS.|
|00:01:22||P.A. HAS DONE WHAT WE REQUIRED.|
|00:01:25||THESE REGULATIONS ARE NECESSARY BECAUSE CEMENT KILL NS ARE THE SECOND LARGEST -- KILNS ARE THE SECOND LARGEST SOURCE OF MERCURY EMISSIONS IN THE UNITED STATES.|
|00:01:35||SOME CEMENT KILNS EMIT MORE MERCURY THAN SOME COAL-FIRED POWER PLANTS.|
|00:01:43||150 CEMENT KILNS OPERATING IN THE UNITED STATES EMIT AS MUCH AS 27,500 POUNDS PER YEAR, DOUBLE E.|
|00:01:53||P.A.'S ESTIMATES FROM SIX YEARS AGO.|
|00:01:54||IN OREGON, NEW YORK, AND CALIFORNIA THE LARGEST SINGLE MERCURY POLLUTION SOURCE IS A CEMENT KILN.|
|00:02:02||PLEASE FOCUS ON THIS.|
|00:02:06||MERCURY IS SO TOXIC, JUST 1/70TH OF A TEASPOON OF MERCURY OR.|
|00:02:16||0024 OUNCES CAN CONTAMINATE A 20-ACRE LAKE AND RENDER THE FISH IN THAT LAKE POISONOUS TO EAT.|
|00:02:25||MERCURY EXPOSURE CAUSES A NUMBER OF HEALTH PROBLEMS, INCLUDING HEART DISEASE, REDUCEDER IF TILLITY, GENETIC MUTATIONS, IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPRESSION, PREMATURE DEATH, AND MAJOR LOSSES IN CHILDREN'S MENTAL CAPACITY.|
|00:02:42||ELEMENTAL MERCURY FROM KILNS GOES UP INTO THE AIR.|
|00:02:45||THE RAIN WASHES IT INTO OUR RIVERS AND STREAMS.|
|00:02:49||THEN THE BACTERIA IN THE WATER CONVERTS IT INTO METHYL MERCURY WHICH IS LETHALLY POISONOUS.|
|00:02:57||BECAUSE METHYL MERCURY IS ALMOST COMPLETELY ABSORBED INTO THE BLOOD AND DISTRIBUTED TO ALL OUR TISSUES, INCLUDING THE BRAIN.|
|00:03:05||IT PASSES READILY THROUGH THE PLACENTA IN A MOTHER'S WOMB AND INTO THE FETUS AND FETAL BRAIN.|
|00:03:13||MERCURY THEN CONTINUES TO IMPACT THE BRAINS OF THOSE CHILDREN AS THEY GROW AND AGE.|
|00:03:19||WE KNOW THIS NOW.|
|00:03:21||WHICH WAS NOT AS CLEAR AS IT IS NOW IN -- BACK IN 1990.|
|00:03:26||SO IF WE KNOW MERCURY DOES THIS TO OUR CHILDREN, AND IF THESE REGS CAN REVENT THOSE CHILDREN FROM SUCH IRREPARABLE HARM, DON'T WE HAVE A CONDOM DENT MORAL RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN FROM SUCH INTELLECTUAL DEPRAVATION AND SUFFERING FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES?|
|00:03:53||LET ME SAY IT AGAIN, IT IS WELL DOCUMENTED THAT EXPOSURE EVEN TO HE LOW LEVELS OF MERCURY DOES REDUCE A CHILD'S I.|
|00:04:03||Q. NOW, THIS I.|
|00:04:04||Q. REDUCTION HAS REAL IMPACTS ON THOSE CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES AND ULTIMATELY THE U.|
|00:04:10||S. ECONOMY. IF THE MAJORITY WON'T LISTEN TO HEALTH-BASED DOCUMENTS, PERHAPS THEY WILL LISTEN TO THE ECONOMICS OF THIS ISSUE.|
|00:04:20||. MERCURY EXPOSURE DURING PREGNANCY AND CHILDHOOD HAS DIRECT AND INDIRECT EFFECTS ON THAT CHILD'S FUTURE EARNING POTENTIAL.|
|00:04:27||MERCURY-EXPOSED CHILDREN HAVE HARDER TIMES GETTING AND KEEPING JOBS LATER IN LIFE AND THEIR PER NOR MANS WHEN THEY GET -- PERFORMANCE WHEN THEY GET THOSE JOBS IS WORSE.|
|00:04:36||THE COST TO SOCIETY OF THIS REDUCTION IS ENORMOUS BUT IT'S NOT INCALCULABLE.|
|00:04:41||INDEPENDENT SCIENTIFIC STUDIES ESTIMATE THAT THE COST IS AS HIGH AS $22,300 PER I.|
|00:04:47||Q. POINT PER CHILD.|
|00:04:50||WHICH CUMULATIVELY AMOUNTS TO $8.|
|00:04:54||7 BILLION IN LOST POTENTIAL PER YEAR.|
|00:04:58||BASED ON C.|
|00:05:00||B.C. STUDIES OF HALF A MILLION WHIRN WHO HAVE MERCURY LEVELS HIGHER THAN 5 DWP 8 MICROGRAMS PER -- 5.|
|00:05:11||8 MICROGRAMS PER LITER,|
Mr. MORAN. I thank the distinguished ranking member, particularly for his leadership in protecting the public's health.
Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong opposition to this bill. If this bill is enacted, an intolerable number of American babies will be born with birth defects that could have been avoided. The majority sets out a false choice: roll back clean air protections or lose jobs. The real choice is a moral one, but the economic case for defeating this bill is also compellingly clear.
EPA cement kiln rules are designed to reduce harmful pollutants from cement production, including metals like mercury, hydrocarbons, particulate matter, acid gases, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. EPA's standards are both achievable and defensible. They will yield far more economic benefits than costs, preserving jobs and Americans' health. [Page: H6577] The most harmful of these cement kiln pollutants is mercury. Congress required EPA to regulate mercury emissions in the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments and to identify the largest sources of mercury reductions. EPA has done what we required. These regulations are necessary because cement kilns are the second-largest source of mercury emissions in the United States. Some cement kilns emit more mercury than some coal-fired power plants. One hundred fifty cement kilns operating in the United States emit as much as 27,500 pounds per year, double EPA's estimates from 6 years ago. In Oregon, New York, and California, the largest single mercury pollution source is a cement kiln.
Please focus on this: Mercury is so toxic that just one-seventieth of a teaspoon of mercury, or .0024 ounces, can contaminate a 20-acre lake and render the fish in that lake poisonous to eat. Mercury exposure causes a number of health problems, including heart disease, reduced fertility, genetic mutations, immune system suppression, premature death, and major losses in children's mental capacity.
Elemental mercury from kilns goes up into the air. The rain washes it into our rivers and streams. Then the bacteria in the water converts it into methyl mercury, which is lethally poisonous, because methyl mercury is almost completely absorbed into the blood and distributed to all our tissues, including the brain. It passes readily through the placenta in a mother's womb and into the fetus and into the fetal brain. Mercury then continues to impact the brains of those children as they grow and age. We know this now, which was not as clear as it is now, back in 1990. So if we know mercury does this to our children and that these regs can prevent those children from such irreparable harm, don't we have a concomitant moral responsibility to protect our children from such intellectual deprivation and suffering for the duration of their lives? Let me say it again. It is well-documented that exposure even to low levels of mercury does reduce a child's IQ. This IQ reduction has real impacts on those children, their families, and ultimately the U.S. economy. If the majority won't listen to health-based arguments, perhaps they will listen to the economics of this issue.
Mercury exposure during pregnancy and childhood has direct and indirect effects on that child's future earning potential. Mercury-exposed children have harder times getting and keeping jobs later in life, and their performance when they get those jobs is worse. The cost to society of this IQ reduction is enormous, but it's not incalculable. Independent scientific studies estimate that the cost is as high as $22,300 per IQ point per child, which cumulatively amounts to $8.7 billion in lost potential per year, based on CDC studies of half a million children who have blood cord mercury levels higher than 5.8 micrograms per liter, the level that adversely affects their IQ.
The CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.