Bush administration considers unloading mercury on world market

With stunning foresight, the U.S. Department of Energy is pondering a sale of more than 1,300 tons of mercury on the world market. Never mind that mercury sold overseas will, in all likelihood, just drift back to the U.S. as toxic air pollution. Never mind that, as Linda Greer of the Natural Resources Defense Council objects, “If they flood the market, how do we persuade the rest of the world to work on solving this problem?” And never mind that two years ago, the Defense Department elected to keep its 4,400-ton mercury stockpile off the market to avoid “human health and ecological risks.” This is no time for sanity — a bill to ban mercury exports is pending in the U.S. Senate, so the DOE needs to get crackin’. And what do federal environment-protectors have to say about it all? “We want to address the issue of all this excess mercury, but we need to do it in cooperation with the various stakeholders,” says EPA’s Maria Doa. Good idea — perhaps over a tasty plate of sushi?