WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court said Friday the Bush administration ignored the law when it imposed less stringent requirements on power plants to reduce mercury pollution, which scientists fear could cause neurological problems in 60,000 newborns a year.Of course, the judges will be castigated as being "activist" judges, despite the fact that it was the states of New Jersey, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin that brought suit against the EPA.
A three-judge panel unanimous struck down a mercury-control plan imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency three years ago. It established an emissions trading process in which some plants could avoid installing the best mercury control technology available by buying pollution credits.
Environmentalist and health experts argued that such a cap-and-trading mechanism would create "hot spots" of mercury contamination near some power plants. Seventeen states as well as environmental and health groups joined in a suit to block the regulation, saying it did not adequately protect public health.
Power plants are the biggest source of releases of mercury, which finds its way into the food supply, particularly fish. Mercury can damage developing brains of fetuses and very young children.
All of this is yet more evidence that King Dubya thinks he is above the law, and that the laws of the United States do not apply to him.