what about trump allowing more mercury pollution?

Author: n8nrgmi ,

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  • n8nrgmi
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    mercury is a seriously lethal element and causes brain problems among other things. trump was pushing for letting businesses pollute more mercury into the environment, because he said the cost was too much to mitigate the effects. for example, they have scrubbers that limit the amount of pollution. 

    so, how do all ya'll who support everything trump does, justify this? 
  • n8nrgmi
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    --> @Greyparrot
    ...
  • n8nrgmi
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    here is some background info on this
  • Snoopy
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    --> @n8nrgmi
    Why can't the states tailor these regulations?  

    The article completely avoids the real issue which is that Pennsylvanians need to check into their state government.  Maybe its a non-issue in the 21st century and they are already covered, or maybe we need to take initiative, but how are we to know if we spend all our time gossiping about the president?


  • Snoopy
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    The more agency the president has, the more people are going to disagree with them.  You can't do that job to the best of your ability without offending people.  From a business standpoint it probably makes sense to report on the president.  That's not in our civic interest in this case.  What would be productive is comparing approaches to regulation among the states.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @n8nrgmi
    The problem with heavy metals like mercury and lead is that there are no 100% "safe levels" 

    So you have to do a risk/cost analysis in every one of these cases. Understanding that we can spend trillions to lower the amount of mercury or lead by a miniscule amount helps us understand why there is a limit to how low you can feasibly reduce mercury.
  • Greyparrot
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    Also, nothing Trump has done prevents the states from imposing their own standards and subsidizing the costs of coal scrubber retrofits. It is far more of a Pennsylvania problem than a Trump problem.
  • n8nrgmi
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    --> @Greyparrot
    the article said pollution was reduced by over eighty percent. if that meant eighty percent less death and disease, wouldn't that be worth it? what's the dollar value of death and disease? i can see your point in the abstract, but if you look at the specific numbers, it doesn't look like we should be letting mercury go unchecked. 
  • n8nrgmi
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    --> @Greyparrot
    im curious, what are a few things you disagree with trump about?

    what are a few things you wish trump would be more liberal about? 

  • n8nrgmi
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    --> @Snoopy

    what's wrong with doing this via the federal level? it's a universal problem. the interstate state commerce clause of the constitution allows for regulating these things. 

    also, a lot of states won't want to regulate this, so they can better compete with other states. or they will just refuse to. why should the victims in those states suffer? 
  • Snoopy
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    --> @n8nrgmi
    Do you know any decent articles that show why the regulations were nationalized, something to do with interstate waterways?  I would be interested in the studies as well.
  • Snoopy
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    --> @n8nrgmi
    what's wrong with doing this via the federal level? it's a universal problem. the interstate state commerce clause of the constitution allows for regulating these things. 
    I'm not precisely sure since the article doesn't explain what "this" actually is.  The fed is harder to steer, doesn't represent people as well but it does have its place in the safety net.  Generally federal regulations should address interstate issues, and states can address more social issues accordingly.  That way by splitting the assortment of responsibility its more difficult for politicians to leverage people to compromise on one issue to solve another.  The interstate commerce clause is appropriate for interstate commerce, not problems that every state has.  If we have regulations according to the interest in one state could have imposed upon another that could be an abuse of power.  As you get to lower levels of government, you will have closer representation by the people.

    also, a lot of states won't want to regulate this, so they can better compete with other states. or they will just refuse to. why should the victims in those states suffer? 
    That's an argument you can make in those states to remedy the situation, just like you are addressing here.  Since a majority of people think it makes sense, there should be some pretty persuasive material among the states with superior regulations. That's another reason you don't want to consolidate everything to the federal level.  By diversifying our efforts we enable more people to come up with different kinds of solutions in up to 50 ways so there is a sort of political market between the states rather than infighting over the federal government.  Representatives may adopt unique regulations that are stream lined, more effective, or just more relevant to the times.  Assuming there is progress some will always not be as good as others, which is actually a relatively good thing, or probably less bad I suppose.
  • n8nrgmi
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    --> @Greyparrot
    you're also ignoring the healthcare costs. pennsylvania alone recouped a quarter of the total national cost on remediation. i'm sure the costs benefits weigh in favor of these regulations. 

  • Snoopy
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    --> @n8nrgmi
    One argument in favor of nationalizing regulations is that its assumed the fed is harder to buy off.  I've never looked into the merit though.  There is a  problem in that if the fed goes too far, it might impose something that isn't as appropriate as it could be, but then again one might imagine they can also guarantee some minimum standards across the country as a baseline of "common sense" to start from for security.

    There would ideally be nothing unusual about reconsidering environmental regulations every two years.
  • Snoopy
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    --> @n8nrgmi
    "i'm sure the costs benefits weigh in favor of these regulations"

    Without knowing what the regulations are, we can't say this.  Maybe one regulation makes sense, and its packed in with a bunch of stuff that doesn't.  Maybe it makes fiscal sense over all from afar, but its implementation is ridiculously cost prohibitive in certain aspects.

  • Greyparrot
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    --> @n8nrgmi
    the article said pollution was reduced by over eighty percent. if that meant eighty percent less death and disease, wouldn't that be worth it? what's the dollar value of death and disease? i can see your point in the abstract, but if you look at the specific numbers, it doesn't look like we should be letting mercury go unchecked. 


    This is where the statistical analysis is misleading. When you look at levels of heavy metal and heath effects..it is  rarely an exact 1 to 1 ratio throughout all intervals.

    As you reduce the levels of heavy metals, the benefits to health translate to more and more insignificant benefits, as it is very hard to tell the health differences between small concentrations, say 1 part per million and 2 parts per million mercury. Because these are relatively very small amounts of mercury we are looking at, 2 parts per million may be 100% more than 1 part per million but it does not necessarily mean we will get 100% more cases of illnesses, as you need to cross some biological thresholds before the body becomes compromised.

    Again, Trump is not saying the states cannot impose stricter standards if they feel that power plants are killing off their voters. There is a very real issue of a voter outrage calculus where if you raise to price of energy too much, the voters begin to shift priority over the outrage of deaths due to mercury poisoning. In the end, politicians have to decide policy by appeasing the most prominent outrage. If they fail to do this, then you have situations like California where people leave the state because the politicians did not do a proper outrage analysis.

    If you have a way to convince voters that expensive energy is not something for voters to be outraged over, I am sure the local politicians would be all ears. After all, the raison d'etre for politicians is to pander to outrage.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @n8nrgmi
    i'm curious, what are a few things you disagree with trump about?
    Raising the military budget. Pandering to unions, and not giving inner school children, mostly poor minorities, school vouchers. Signing off on budget bills with no plans to reduce future budget spending, (although I can kind of give him a pass on this since 99% of the budget is under the responsibility of the Congress)


    what are a few things you wish trump would be more liberal about? 
    Depends what you mean by liberal. If you mean freedom from government tyranny, then he is doing a pretty good job so far.
    Maybe he can cut some more regulations to get us on par with, say, Hong Kong. Well, that is probably asking too much...
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_of_Economic_Freedom...Hong Kong is at the top of this list. I would be happy if Trump could get us to around a score of 80 which would put us on par with UK. That would be a more reasonable expectation.

    If you mean progressive pandering to identity politics, I am not convinced that pseudo-reparations to the hundreds of identity groups is the path toward the future of national harmony.


  • TheDredPriateRoberts
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    --> @Greyparrot
    funny even the states can't think for themselves, need big brother to handle their own shit.

    the levels in the oceans are high enough there are advisories as to how much fish you should eat from those waters as well.  I'm not sure what the levels are in the great lakes or if those are even being tracked.
  • n8nrgmi
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    --> @Greyparrot
    how do you account for the health care cost savings of having the pollution reducing technology? in pennsylvania alone in a year they had over four billion in savings according to the article. that's a significant part of the whole cost of the technology, and over years and in all states, it's clear healthcare costs far outweigh the costs of the pollution reducing technology. 
  • Greyparrot
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    Since when did the government care about finances?
  • TheDredPriateRoberts
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    --> @n8nrgmi
    in pennsylvania alone
    so in other words the federal government doesn't need to be involved since the states can deal with the issue very well if they want to, I agree let the states deal with it.