Senator Lamar Alexander Takes a Stand for Clean Air
On June 18th, 2012, The Tennessean reported that U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, member of the Republican Party, has once again expressed his passion of the outdoor and the environment this year by supporting a new clean air rule from the Obama administration. The new rule would require power plants to curtail their emissions of mercury by implementing new pollution control equipment.
Senator Alexander is standing up for what he believes in: in this case, clean air. Known for his love of nature, especially natural parks such as the Smoky Mountains, this is not the first time he opposed his party for an environmental cause.
Senator Alexander’s environmental support has not come without opposition. In fact, a group of commercials entitled “American Commitment” began running, corrupting the Senator’s image to the public and portraying him as “anti-coal”. The opposition’s argument against this legislation lays behind the expensive cost of implementing the new equipment to the coal-fired power plants but also the impact on job creation.
In response to these arguments, Senator Alexander reported that auto manufacturers like Nissan would not be able to operate in Tennessee if air quality is low, which would result in cutting thousands of manual labor jobs for Tennessee residents.
Senator Alexander also compared the number of people working in coal mining with those working in the pollution control equipment for mercury emissions. There are 1,200 people working in the pollution control equipment plants and only 546 people working in coal mining in Tennessee, which not only depletes natural resources, but its treatment also produces tons of greenhouse gases into the environment, the leading cause of global warming. In addition to that, Tennessee has a very low percentage of available coal, thus it won’t be long before It will be all depleted and the coal miners will be unemployed for good.
Investing in clean air proves to be valuable for the economy, the environment, but most of all, the people. Polluted air can significantly harm human health, leading to several short-term and long–term respiratory problems, including lung cancer and heart disease, which can significantly impact the cost of healthcare.
During his speech, Senator Alexander did mentioned the fact that TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority), which provides Tennessee’s electricity, has already implemented the pollution control required for mercury emissions into their power plants. The problem is that air blows freely, therefore a single company cannot clean the air alone.
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Polar employs more than 40 people all focused on green jobs and we support more than 30,000 customers in the HVACR trades and hundreds of thousands of their customers that own buildings and business all across the US, everyone one of us receives a growing portion of our paychecks from green initiatives. Along with that, we also provide a network designed to educate contractors and technicians about the significance of including environmental stewardship into their businesses. Green or environmental initiatives are not just about saving trees, its about being involved in a multitude of ways and contributing on our own level. Every little bit makes a difference.