Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up? Let’s call this the environmental health edition.

Is anyone else disturbed by Canada pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol? If you recall, it was a worldwide initiative — without the United States, of course — to combat global warming. Often I wonder what kind of world we are leaving our children.

The Environmental Integrity Project released a list of the top 25 most polluting power plants in the United States. It also broke it down by state and which toxins are emitted by plants in those states:

Pennsylvania (#1 rankings for arsenic and lead);
Ohio (#2 rankings for mercury and selenium);
Indiana (#4 rankings for chromium and nickel);
Kentucky  (#2 for arsenic); and
Texas (#1 rankings for mercury and selenium).

Some of the power plants, let by Southern Company, are fighting new Mercury and Air Toxics standards slated to kick in this week. First, they said that it would cost them jobs, even though smaller power plants have implemented filters for these toxins and support the new rules. Now they are saying that the new rules will cause blackouts. Two different utility CEOs wrote letters to the Wall Street Journal slapping down this argument, too.

Enough is enough. Please sign this petition to let President Obama know that you support the new Mercury and Air Toxics standards. MomsRising sent out a petition as well, highlighting the fact that arsenic is in our children’s juice boxes. This is important as this would be the first major piece of environmental legislation introduced since an update to the Clean Air Act 20 years ago to protect our children’s health and that of future generations. It is long overdue.  

Finally, I learned from Arlene Blum, a scientist and expert on flame retardants, that 10% of Fanta Orange, Mountain Dew and Fresca soft drinks are…you got it…brominated vegetable oils (BVOs), which were first developed as flame retardants. BVOs, by the way, are prohibited in soft drinks in Europe and in Japan. Ugh.

In NON-environmental news, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck are expecting their third child, according to MSN Wonderwall.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?