Toxic chemicals threaten our health

More than half of all Americans live in places with unsafe levels of air pollution, which causes heart attacks, asthma attacks, emergency room visits, hospital admissions and even deaths each year. 

Studies show that one in 10 women of childbearing age has enough mercury in her bloodstream to put her child at risk of health effects should she become pregnant. This means that more than 689,000 out of the 4.1 million babies born every year could be exposed to dangerous levels of mercury.

The consequences are serious: Children who are exposed to even low-dosage levels of mercury in the womb can have impaired brain functions, including verbal, attention, motor control, and language deficits, and lower IQs. When these children are monitored at ages 7 and 14, these impairments still exist — suggesting that the damage caused by mercury may be irreversible. 

Four Corners plant emits 1,481 pounds of mercury each year

The Four Corners plant is the 12th most polluting in the country, according to our report, “Dirty Energy’s Assualt on our Health: Mercury.” 

And coal-fired power plants nationwide spew hundreds of thousands of pounds of toxic mercury into our air every year, which falls to earth in the form of rain and contaminates rivers, lakes and streams. 

Wildlife that is exposed to mercury may develop more slowly, have reduced fertility or even die, depending on the level of exposure. And it doesn’t take much: Scientists found that a gram of mercury — about a drop — deposited in a mid-sized lake in Wisconsin over the course of a year was enough to account for all of the mercury subsequently found in that lake’s fish population. 

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, mercury impairs 3,781 bodies of water across the country, and 6,363,707 acres of lakes, reservoirs, and ponds in the United States are contaminated by mercury pollution. 

With your help, we can save 46,000 lives

Recently, the EPA moved ahead with efforts to significantly reduce mercury, soot and smog pollution, announcing historic emissions standards that could save 46,000 lives a year. Unfortunately, polluters and their allies in Congress launched a coordinated attack to block these critical safeguards. 

We’re working closely with our allies in the public health community, lobbying key senators, and rallying thousands of activists stand up for public health.

It won’t be easy, but if enough of us speak out, we can drown out the coal industry lobbyists and make sure that the EPA is allowed to do its job and protect public health

clean air updates

News Release | Environment New Mexico

President Obama, Congress Save Wind Power in Fiscal Cliff Agreement

Today President Obama will sign into law a bill that extends key tax credits for wind power and averts the ‘fiscal cliff.’ The main federal incentives for wind power – the renewable energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the offshore wind Investment Tax Credit (ITC) – expired on December 31, 2012, but with today’s new law will now be available for wind power projects that start construction over the next year, allowing for continued growth of New Mexico and American wind power.

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center

Wind Power for a Cleaner America: Reducing Global Warming Pollution, Cutting Air Pollution and Saving Water

America has tripled its use of wind power since the beginning of 2008 and we are starting to reap the environmental rewards. Wind energy now displaces about 68 million metric tons of global warming pollution each year—as much as is produced by 13 million cars. And wind energy now saves more than enough water nationwide to meet the needs of a city the size of Boston.

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News Release | Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center

Wind Energy in New Mexico Prevents as Much Global Warming Pollution as Taking 232,000 Cars Off the Road Each Year

As this summer’s extreme drought and its aftermath prompt more New Mexicans to call for action to tackle global warming and the rise in extreme weather, Environment New Mexico released a new Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center report today that shows that New Mexico’s current power generation from wind energy displaces as much global warming pollution as taking 232,000 cars off the road per year. Additionally, the Environment New Mexico report shows that wind power saves enough water to meet the needs of 11,600 New Mexicans.

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News Release | Environment New Mexico

Senators Bingaman and Udall Stand Up for New Mexicans’ Health, Help Senate Reject Rollback of Mercury Standards

In a victory for New Mexicans’ health and environment, the U.S. Senate today rejected a bill which would have allowed power plants to continue spewing toxic mercury pollution into our air. The bill, S.J. Res. 37 introduced by Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), would have put up to 11,000 American lives at risk every year. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall both voted against this dangerous proposal.

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Report | Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center

Dirty Energy's Assault on our Health: Mercury

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, mercury impairs 3,781 bodies of water across the country, and 6,363,707 acres of lakes, reservoirs, and ponds in the United States are contaminated by mercury pollution. 

> Keep Reading

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