Clean Air Act Digest, 10.12.12
Congress is currently out of session, but will reconvene after the November elections for a “lame duck” session starting on November 13.
House of Representatives:
Before Congress left, the House passed the “Stop the War on Coal Act” (H.R. 3409). This bill bundled a number of anti-environmental bills; it would eliminate Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Air Act authority to address climate change and block all climate-related standards, including the new EPA rules for automobiles and the proposed carbon pollution rule. It would also force EPA to delay, by at least six to seven years, the implementation of smog, soot, and toxic air pollution replacement standards. The community sent a letter of opposition which contains more details on the bill. Thirteen Republicans voted against H.R. 3409 and 19 Democrats voted for the package. The final vote tally was 233-175.
At the end of August, a panel of judges on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down an Environmental Protection Agency safeguard designed to reduce power plant air pollution that crosses state lines. The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) would have prevented thousands of premature deaths and saved tens of billions of dollars a year in health costs. This safeguard was initially finalized in July 2011, and would have required 28 states in the East, Midwest, and South to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) that would cross state lines and worsen air quality in downwind states.
Last week, the EPA, environmental groups, and certain states and power companies filed petitions for rehearing en banc in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. These petitions ask all of the judges on the Court to reconsider the 3-judge panel’s decision to strike down the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.
The Cost of Coal, New Photo Series Web Page, Sierra Club
When Did Protecting the Environment Become a Partisan Issue?, Moms Clean Air Force Blog, 10.8.12
American Lung Association Urges the Court to Reverse Panel Decision on Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, American Lung Association Statement, 10.5.12
The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, EPA Fact Sheet
Nearly Four Years In, What Do Cost-benefit Data Show for the Major Obama EPA Rules, and What Do They Imply for the Economy?, Economic Policy Institute Blog, 9.25.12
Above is a sampling of the most recent resources related to upholding the Clean Air Act. Don’t forget USCAN has a series of pages that compile items like these and much more:
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.