Breitbart.com is misrepresenting statements by Van Jones about the public health benefits of environment regulation. Breitbart wrote that Jones "claimed the right is waging an open campaign and willing to kill children to weaken the EPA to create a new job," which is not at all what Jones said in the video that the sites used.
Van Jones Was Discussing Health Benefits Of Environmental Regulations
Jones: EPA "Keep[s] Poison and Pollution Out Of Our Children's Water And Food And Bodies." From video of the NYC Green Festival at The Huffington Post (transcript begins at about 1:24:20; bolded text was left out of Breitbart video):
JONES: We've got some good principles like America the beautiful. That's a good principle. And some of us don't just sing the song and go home. You've got a lot of cheap patriotism right now, they just sing the song, America the Beautiful, and they go home, and they're nowhere to be found when it's time to defend America's beauty from the clear-cutters, and the oil spillers, and the mountaintop removers. How about we just stick up for America the beautiful? That's a good principle. And when people attack the agencies that defend America's beauty like the EPA, how about we stand up for EPA? They say EPA is a job killer. You heard of this? EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, probably has saved more American lives than the Department of Defense in the past 30 years, keeping poison and pollution out of our children's water, and food and bodies. [The Huffington Post, 4/21/12]
Jones: People Who "Call Environmental Regulations Job Killers" Should Be Asked, "How Many American Children Are You Willing To Kill For A Job?" From the NYC Green Festival:
JONES: They attack EPA, and say EPA is a job killer. No, no, no. The stuff EPA is dealing with are people killers and kid killers. I want to know, how many -- these people call environmental regulations job killers. How many American children are you willing to kill for a job? Why don't we ask them that? How many American children are you willing to poison per job? Why don't we stand up for our principles? I think actually respecting the air and the water and our children's health is a good principle. [The Huffington Post, 4/21/12, begins at approx. 01:25]
Jones Is Right -- EPA Rules Save Lives
WSJ: EPA Estimates Boiler Standards "Will Prevent As Many As 8,100 Premature Deaths." From The Wall Street Journal:
Friday's proposal, which aims to reduce mercury, soot and other toxic emissions, will apply primarily to about 5,500 boilers that emit the majority of pollution in this area. That's less than 1% of all boilers in the U.S. The remaining 99% of boilers either comply with the standards already or require only routine maintenance to stay in compliance, the EPA said.
EPA air-quality chief Gina McCarthy said Friday that the new rule hits a "sweet spot" between improving air quality and weighing the costs of implementation. "With this action, EPA is applying the right standards to the right boilers," said Ms. McCarthy.
The EPA said the standards will prevent as many as 8,100 premature deaths a year by 2015. [The Wall Street Journal, 12/2/11]
Congressional Research Service: Boilers Emit At Least Six "Known Or Probable Human Carcinogens." From the Congressional Research Service, hosted at the National Resource Defense Council:
Boilers emit at least 20 of the listed HAPs, including mercury, arsenic, chromium, cadmium, selenium, nickel, lead, manganese, phosphorous, antimony, beryllium, polycyclic organic matter, benzene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, dioxins, furans, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen cyanide, and hydrogen fluoride. Six of these 20 are classified as known or probable human carcinogens. Others affect the lungs, skin, central nervous system (including adverse developmental effects), and/or kidneys. By controlling emissions of these substances, EPA expects to avoid 1,900 to 4,800 premature deaths annually, as well as many other health effects, including 1.5 million cases of acute respiratory symptoms. [NRDC.org, 1/24/11]
EPA: Air Toxics Rule Would Prevent Up To 17,000 Premature Deaths. From EPA's Regulatory Impact Analysis of the proposed air toxics rule:
The proposed Toxics Rule is expected to yield significant health benefits by reducing emissions not only of HAP such as mercury, but also significant co-benefits due to reductions in direct fine particles and in two key contributors to fine particle formation. Sulfur dioxide contributes to the formation of fine particle pollution (PM2.5), and nitrogen oxide contributes to the formation of PM2.5.
Our analyses suggest this rule would yield benefits in 2016 of $59 to $140 billion (based on a 3 percent discount rate) and $53 to $130 billion (based on a 7 percent discount rate). This estimate reflects the economic value of a range of avoided health outcomes, including 510 fewer mercury-related IQ points lost as well as a variety of avoided PM2.5-related impacts, including 6,800 to 17,000 premature deaths, 11,000 nonfatal heart attacks, 5,300 hospitalizations for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, 850,000 lost work days and 5.1 million days when adults restrict normal activities because of respiratory symptoms exacerbated by PM2.5." [EPA, March 2011]
EPA: Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Would Prevent Up To 34,000 Premature Deaths. From the EPA's information on the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which "requires states to significantly improve air quality by reducing power plant emissions that cross state lines and contribute to ozone and fine particle pollution in other states." From EPA:
The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule will help avoid tens of thousands of premature deaths and illnesses, achieving billions of dollars in public health benefits. By 2014, the required emissions reductions will annually avoid:
-13,000 to 34,000 premature deaths
-15,000 nonfatal heart attacks
-19,000 hospital and emergency room visits
-1.8 million lost work days or school absences
-400,000 aggravated asthma attacks [EPA, 7/6/11]
American Lunch Association: Restricting Air Toxics Would Protect Against "Cancer, Heart Disease, Neurological Damage, Birth Control, Asthma Attacks, And Even Premature Death." From a letter to the EPA from the American Lung Association:
When final, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Rule--required by the Clean Air Act--will protect Americans against life-threatening air pollution such as mercury, arsenic and other toxics linked to cancer, heart disease, neurological damage, birth defects, asthma attacks and even premature death.
More than 400 coal-fired power plants located in 46 states across the country release in excess of 386,000 tons of hazardous air pollutants into our air each year. The wide range of uncontrolled pollutants from these plants includes: arsenic; lead and other metals; mercury; dioxins; chemicals known or thought to cause cancer, including formaldehyde and benzene; and acid gases such ashydrogen chloride.
Those at risk of health effects from breathing these hazardous air pollutants include: infants, children and teenagers; older adults; pregnant women; people with asthma and other lung diseases; people with cardiovascular disease; diabetics; people with low incomes; and healthy adults who work or exercise outdoors. [American Lung Association, 5/18/11]
Breitbart.com, Fox Nation Distort Jones' Words To Claim He Attacked Right As "Willing To Kill Children To Weaken The EPA"
Breitbart.com: Jones "Claimed The Right Is Waging An Open Campaign And Willing To Kill Children To Weaken The EPA." From a post headlined "Van Jones: Conservatives Have 'Cheap Patriotism', Will 'Kill' Children For Jobs":
Speaking at the New York City Green Festival April 21st, Van Jones (Obama's former Green Jobs Czar) claimed the right is waging an open campaign and willing to kill children to weaken the EPA to create a new job.
Fox Nation Headline: "Van Jones: Conservatives Willing To 'Kill Children' For Jobs." Fox Nation posted both the video and text commentary (cited above) from Breitbart.com.
[Fox Nation, 4/23/12]