Clean Air Act Digest, 10.21.11
More rollbacks of the Clean Air Act:
Late last week the House continued to undo public health protections by passing the “EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011″ (H.R. 2250), legislation that will rollback standards to limit mercury and other air toxics from boilers and incinerators. The bill forbids EPA from issuing final standards for these facilities for 15 months and also eliminates any deadlines by which industrial polluters must meet final standards once they are issued, allowing facilities to dump unlimited amounts of air pollution into the air. The measure passed 275-142, with 234 Republicans and 41 Democrats voting in favor. Click here to learn more.
The House also passed H.R. 2273, legislation that would rollback life-saving standards for coal ash. Coal ash is the abundant and dangerous waste left over after coal is burned. Across the country, billions of tons of coal ash have been dumped in enormous waste ponds, pits, landfills and mines, putting human health at risk from large scale disasters and gradual – yet equally dangerous – contamination as toxins in coal ash seep into drinking water sources. The measure passed 267-144, 37 Democrats voted in favor and 3 Republicans opposed the bill. Learn more here.
The Senate is currently debating the “minibus” appropriations bill (H.R. 2112), the legislative vehicle for the Agriculture, Commerce, Justice and Science, and Transportation appropriations bills. Several harmful rider amendments have already been filed and many other amendments that would harm health and the environment by undoing Clean Air Act protections may also come before the Senate. These riders have no place in routine spending bills and the Senate should oppose any attacks on this appropriations and legislation. See the action alerts below to learn more.
As we reported, Senator Rand Paul continues to try and use the Congressional Review Act to permanently block the life-saving Cross State Air Pollution Rule. Finalized this past July, the Cross State Air Pollution Rule will address power plant emissions that cross state lines and contribute to unsafe levels of air pollution and smog. The Senate would need to act on the CRA within 60 legislative days, so this will remain a threat until early to mid-November. Click here for state-specific fact sheets.
Take Action: Stop Playing Politics with Public Health
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has voted more than 165 times this year to undercut environmental protections and safeguards. Now, their allies in the U.S. Senate are gearing up for similar attacks, starting with an effort to block the life-saving Cross State Air Pollution Rule.
Take Action: No Dirty Riders on Spending Bill
This week, the Senate is debating three separate bills to fund a budget for the government next year. This is the first step in the long process of crafting a bipartisan spending bill. Unfortunately, many members see this bill as a way to attach dirty amendments that do away with safeguards that protect our water, our air, and our wild lands.
Many thanks to the Sierra Club for providing this week’s Action Alerts!
Finally if your organization is interested in sending out an action alert or email to your members please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
HR 2112 – Minibus Appropriations Bill, Sign-On Letter 10.19.11
Groups Act to Force EPA to Issue Soot Air Pollution Standards, Joint Press Release 10.18.11
Cement Industry Overpowers Health Concerns in Advancing Bill to Delay EPA Regulations, MapLight.org 10.17.11
Sebelius, Jackson: Health, Environment and Justice, USA Today Op-Ed Kathleen Sebelius and Lisa Jackson 10.16.11
Protect the Clean Air Act Letter to Senate, Consumers Union, Small Business Majority, NAACP and more 10.13.11
Poll: Voters Overwhelmingly Support EPA Air Pollution Rules, Ceres 10.12.11
Groups Sue Obama Administration for Scrapping Stronger Ozone Standards, American Lung Association Press Release 10.11.11
Faith Group Letter in Opposition to Bills that Block or Delay the Clean Air Act, Faith Groups Sign-On 10.5.11
Don’t forget the Clean Air Act fan page on Facebook.
Clean Air Act Digest is a publication put together by US Climate Action Network and Natural Resources Defense Council please contact Kate Smolski at email@example.com for more details. Click here for past issues.