“Sen. Scott Brown Once Again Showed His Independence, Voted Against His Party And Stood Up For What’s Right And What’s Good For The Environment And Public Health Here In Massachusetts”
Metrowest Daily News
By Bob Durand, Former state Democratic Senator and State Environmental Secretary Bob Durand
June 21, 2012
It’s been a little over 10 years since I was Secretary of Environmental Affairs under Gov. Paul Cellucci and Gov. Jane Swift. One of our initiatives was the Mercury is Rising campaign to educate the public and reduce the use of mercury in thermostats, dental offices, batteries and the air we breathe. It was a national model and other states followed suit.
I would not have believed that 10 years later we are still fighting at the national level a clean air standard that would reduce mercury and other toxins in our air. Since that time there have been Republican and Democratic presidents, Democratic and Republican leadership in Congress. Yet no action.
This is not a partisan issue but rather a lack of will due in part to the power of special interest standing in the way of real reform in this area. The U.S .Senate yesterday rejected a measure that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from establishing and enforcing a lifesaving clean air standard that would reduce the levels of dangerous mercury pollution in our air. Sen. Scott Brown once again showed his independence, voted against his party and stood up for what’s right and what’s good for the environment and public health here in Massachusetts.
The nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute projects that the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard will have a “positive net impact on overall employment – likely leading to the net creation of 84,500 jobs between now and 2015.” The jobs created by the standard, however, would not just be limited to certain industrial sectors. EPI’s study claims “8,000 Jobs would be gained in the utility industry itself,” along with the over 80,500 jobs that would be created to control pollution and 28,000 jobs created by these jobs.
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