In a newsletter to her constituents today, Vicky Hartzler boasts about her vote on the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act, a bill designed to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing rules regarding pollution from cement plants. Though she mentions the cost of compliance and the potential loss of jobs for plants that can’t or won’t comply, she doesn’t say a word about the type of pollution that the EPA is trying to curb.
The EPA’s new rules on cement plants are designed to reduce emissions of mercury. Exposure to mercury causes a variety of health problems, including damaging brain development in young children, but Hartzler is careful to never mention the word “mercury” when discussing her dislike for the new EPA rules. The EPA estimates that the rules Hartzler is fighting against would save billions of dollars in health care costs and save thousands of lives. Again, Hartzler doesn’t mention that, but she does cite a statement from a Mexican-owned cement corporation.
The House has passed the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act, requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to reissue rules and standards on the cement industry to allow businesses to realistically comply. This current proposed requirement is yet another job-destroying government intrusion into the free market. Texas-based CEMEX USA says if the current Cement MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) rules are allowed to go into effect about 18 to 20 cement plants will close down because they will not be able to comply with new regulations. Furthermore, the Portland Cement Association has warned Congress about the direct loss of up to 4,000 jobs after the rules are implemented. The EPA, itself, says these rules would cost the industry $2.2 billion to implement. It is unconscionable that when so many Americans are looking for work, the EPA would enforce rules that make it nearly impossible for job creators to operate and grow their businesses. I urge the Senate to quickly take up this legislation and pass it.
When there’s a conflict between the bottom line of a big corporation and the health of her constituents, Vicky Hartzler can be counted on to fight for the corporation, allowing them to pollute our land and water and poison our children.