AAEA Supports Environmental Evangelical Network on Mercury
The Environmental Evangelical Network (EEN) supports the new EPA mercury pollution rules as a “pro-life” position. EEN is under attack from the religious right over its campaign in favor of EPA’s new restrictions on mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants – rules that EEN calls vital to protecting the health of the unborn. EEN states:
“We believe protecting the unborn from mercury poisoning is a consistent pro-life position. An issue that impacts the unborn – that’s where we resonate as a pro-life organization.”
EEN works with the National Association of Evangelicals and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in support of cutting mercury emissions. EEN position is to protect the unborn from both abortion and “pollution that will harm their quality of life.”
The group, whose president testified in favor of EPA’s rules on Capitol Hill Wednesday, is under attack from Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser and a suite of other prominent religious conservatives. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), a persistent critic of EPA regulations, also joined the religious right leaders in bashing EEN's campaign.
Republicans and some business groups call the rule burdensome. Republicans are continuing to attack the regulation after the House voted last year to scuttle it (the Senate didn’t follow suit).
EEN’s campaign in favor of the regulations has included TV ads, radio spots and billboards that urge lawmakers – including several pro-life senators – to defend the rule because it protects the unborn.
Mercury harms the nervous systems of children exposed in the womb and can impair learning and early development, among other harms associated with emissions of the toxic substance, according to EPA.