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Rep. John Carter Distorting Facts On Cement Kiln Industry

Congressman misrepresenting rule that would prevent up to 2,500 deaths annually
January 20, 2011
Washington, D.C. —

Today, the Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice released information debunking Rep. John Carter’s (R-TX) claim that important health protections will cost the cement industry too much.

In their report "Dirty Air is Not the Key to Economic Growth," the groups counter Rep. Carter’s incorrect claims about these health protections, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued in 2010. If Rep. Carter’s plan to block these protections is successful, many communities across the U.S. will continue to suffer from mercury and other chemical pollution from cement plants.

"Rep. Carter’s clean air killing resolution would take the lid off emissions of mercury and other toxic pollution from cement kilns, but do nothing to create jobs in our country," said Eric Schaeffer, director of the Environmental Integrity Project. "While the Congressman claims the sky will fall if cement manufacturers have to comply with the Clean Air Act, the Portland Cement Association’s own analysis predicts that production will increase more than 50 percent over the next five years, as housing and construction markets pick up speed."

"There is no dispute that cement kilns are among the country’s worst polluters or that eliminating the EPA’s controls on their pollution, as Rep. Carter seeks to do, would cause between 960 and 2,500 Americans to die prematurely every year," said Jim Pew, Earthjustice attorney. "Standing with foreign mega-corporations and their army of lobbyists, Rep. Carter is disseminating blatantly false claims about these long-overdue and badly-needed controls. In the real world, as opposed to the George Orwell world that Rep. Carter and his allies inhabit, the cement industry can afford to be a good neighbor and control its toxic pollution."

Among the facts set out in the report:

  • Employment impacts from the rule will range from a potential loss of 600 to a net gain of 1,300 jobs, according to the EPA.
  • Domestic cement production will increase more than 25 percent from today’s levels by 2013, and more than 50 percent by 2015, according to a Nov. 2010 analysis by the Portland Cement Association.
  • Rep. Carter’s resolution would effectively prevent EPA from ever limiting emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from cement plants.

Read the entire report and analysis: http://earthjustice.org/documents/fact-sheet/pdf/dirty-air-is-not-the-key-to-economic-growth

Contacts

Jim Pew, Earthjustice, (202) 667-4500, ext. 214

Leslie Anderson, for EIP, (703) 276-3256

About Earthjustice

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