Clean Air Act Digest, 1.27.12
The House and Senate were both back in session this week, and negotiations have begun on legislation to extend the payroll tax credit when the short-term extension passed in December expires at the end of February. On Wednesday, Rep. Fred Upton, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, reiterated that House Republicans want to add a bill (H.R. 2250) to the tax package that would block EPA standards cutting emissions of mercury and other air toxics from boilers.
EPA is taking steps to implement the 2008 ozone air pollution standard; late last week, the agency sent proposed attainment deadlines to the Office of Management and Budget. In September 2011, in a major blow to public health and the environment, the White House overrode scientists’ recommendations and blocked EPA from issuing stronger ozone standards, thus leaving the Bush Administration’s weaker 2008 regulations in place. The ozone standard is due to be reviewed again in 2013. (Source: E&E News)
By law, EPA should have completed a review of its standards for emissions of fine particles—also known as soot—by October 2011, but instead the agency wants to delay proposing new standards until June 2012. The agency also indicated in a recent court filing that it will not finalize standards until June 2013. A November 2011 report by the American Lung Association, Clean Air Task Force, and Earthjustice estimated that 35,700 deaths could be prevented annually if EPA strengthened the health standards for fine particulate matter from power plants, diesel and other vehicles, industrial combustion, agricultural burning, and wood stoves. (Source: Earthjustice Press Release, 11.16.11)
Tell Key Agencies to Move America Forward with Strong Fuel-Efficiency Standards
With the support of 13 major automakers and millions of Americans, the Obama administration proposed new fuel efficiency and global warming pollution standards for light trucks and cars in November. If enacted, vehicles for model years 2017-2025 will be required to meet the equivalent of a 54.5 mpg standard by 2025. According to an analysis conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Natural Resources Defense Council, a fleet-wide 54.5 mpg standard in 2025 would reduce America’s annual oil diet by 23 billion gallons and help cut global warming pollution by roughly 280 million metric tons. This is great news for American pocketbooks and the planet—but as you can imagine, Big Oil and other special interests aren’t too happy. The Obama Administration needs to hear loud and clear support for these new standards.
Just as a reminder, the deadline for comment collection has been extended until February 13th, 2012.
See sample action alerts supporting strong fuel-efficiency and global warming pollution standards on USCAN’s Clean Vehicles web page.
Guest Commentary: Cleaner Air Standards Under Attack in Congress, Detroit Free Press Op-ed 1.26.12
Maine Voices: Senators’ Advocacy of Clean Air Act Helps Mainers Breathe More Freely, The Portland Press Herald Op-ed 1.25.12
Oxnard, Pittsburgh Join Growing List of U.S. Cities Calling for Federal Action on Global Warming, Center for Biological Diversity 1.25.12
EPA’s Utility MACT: Will the Lights Go Out?, Congressional Research Service 1.9.12
Health and Climate Change- Accounting for Costs, Natural Resources Defense Council Fact Sheet
Global Warming and Public Health: A Changing Climate Worsens Allergy Symptoms, Union of Concerned Scientists
Global Warming and Public Health: The Health Effects of Hotter Days and Nights, Union of Concerned Scientists
Don’t forget the Clean Air Act fan page on Facebook
Check out USCAN’s Air Toxics Standards Section for the latest materials on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.
Clean Air Act Digest is a publication put together by US Climate Action Network and Natural Resources Defense Council. Please contact Lara Levison at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Click here for past issues.