Michigan demands 90 percent cut to mercury emissions from power plants

Tired of other states getting all the eco-love, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) has ordered her state’s coal-burning power plants to slash mercury emissions by 90 percent by 2015. Her plan will not be a cap-and-trade system, but will allow companies to produce a 90 percent average cut across all their plants, meaning some plants can pollute more than others. However, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says the initiative won’t let more-polluting plants release enough mercury to create toxic hotspots, a common criticism of the federal cap-and-trade plan. Enviros say the plan would raise residential electric bills by less than $1 a month. Michigan and more than a dozen other states are currently suing the feds over mercury pollution, charging that the Bush administration’s efforts to cut mercury emissions 70 percent by 2018 are too weak. Mercury, as we all should know by now, does icky things to the nervous system and can cause developmental delays in children.