Statement of Senator Jim Jeffords, I-Vt
Resolution of Disapproval
Administration Mercury Rule Mr. President - I will be brief, but concise. This is not a vote about reducing mercury by 90 percent by 2009 or even 70 percent by the year 2030. That is a red herring. This is not a vote about the opponent’s wildly outdated claims on the potential cost or the availability of mercury controls. This is really not even a vote about the well-documented and devastating effects of toxic mercury on future generations of children or the nation’s environmental health. Mr. President, Senators - this vote is about whether the Administration failed to comply with the law. We cannot afford to get it wrong now. There will be no going back. After careful review, I have concluded that there was such a failure, that this was an intentional and illegal effort to circumvent the law, and that it was designed to benefit big energy companies at the expense of the public health. This failure has been documented in reports by GAO, the Inspector General, in the press, and in testimony before the Environment Committee and the Democratic Policy Committee. Our resolution sends the Agency back to the drawing board to get it right and to comply with the law. Mr. President, Senators – it is this simple: Should the Administration comply with the Clean Air Act? If you think so, vote yes on the resolution. If you think we should ignore years of scientific evidence and let the Administration undermine the Clean Air Act, vote no. Thank you.