Yesterday the EPA unveiled long-overdue rules to limit the amount of mercury and other toxins which coal producers and other energy producers can release into the atmosphere. As environmental blogger David Roberts notes, these are a very, very big deal and for more reasons than having cleaner, safer air.
But this one is a Big Deal. It's worth lifting our heads out of the news cycle and taking a moment to appreciate that history is being made. Finally controlling mercury and toxics will be an advance on par with getting lead out of gasoline. It will save save tens of thousands of lives every year and prevent birth defects, learning disabilities, and respiratory diseases. It will make America a more decent, just, and humane place to live.
Read his whole post for the history of how long (over twenty years!) it's taken for this rule to be finalized. It really is a major big deal.
It's also big because it is a back-door jobs creator. As noted in the video above, the technology necessary to comply with the rules is manufactured in this country and can be installed by American workers. I don't know how many workers it will take to manufacture and install these devices, but even one extra person put to work is one less unemployed worker. The administration has vowed to do whatever can be done to stimulate job creation without Republicans. This is one of the ways they're doing it.