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Grateful for Senator Collins’ Leadership on Mercury Pollution

A Statement by
The Rev. Mitch Hescox,
President/CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network

As a pro-life organization we are thankful for the leadership Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) is providing on mercury pollution. Her bill to establish a monitoring system, the Comprehensive National Mercury Monitoring Act, recently reintroduced, is an important part of protecting our children from mercury pollution.

We are particularly grateful for her Statement when reintroducing the bill where she criticized the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent proposal that would roll back the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS):

“I just do not understand why EPA would send that signal… the EPA’s action has put the standards in legal jeopardy and could block future efforts to strengthen this standard that is so important to protecting human health and our environment.”

We completely agree.

Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin that, when ingested by pregnant women, crosses the placenta and results in irreversible brain damage in unborn children. The same impacts occur even after birth as mothers can even transfer mercury through breastmilk. There are no known safe levels of mercury and even with the current success brought about by the MATS rule, our streams, rivers, lakes and oceans still contain harmful levels of the life-destroying heavy metal.

Coal-fired electric utilities are America’s largest source of mercury. When emitted the mercury deposits in our water bodies, is consumed by fish and enters our food stream. Every state in the nation still has active fresh-consumption advisories against consuming fish contaminated by mercury. The threat to our children is very much alive.

We believe that all human life is sacred, each person conceived is of equal and innate value and all human life is worthy of protection. Our commitment to Jesus Christ compels us to care for life from the moment of conception until natural death. Jesus’ call for abundant life isn’t just a spiritual connection. “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” (Matthew 19:14) The psalmist wrote, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13) Our commitment to Jesus Christ compels us to do all we can to protect unborn children from mercury poisoning. It is a pro-life concern, plain and simple.

And that’s why we’re so appreciative of Senator Collins’ leadership on mercury pollution — thank you, Senator Collins!

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