1. House Spending Bill:
On February 19 the House of Representatives passed their FY11 spending bill (H.R. 1) by a vote of 235-189. Upon introduction the bill blocked the EPA’s ability to address dangerous carbon pollution and included budget cuts that would cripple critical programs to protect public health. Additionally, several amendments were passed which prevent the EPA from carrying out its mission to protect the air we breathe:
Amendment #165 sponsored by Rep. Carter (R-TX) would prevent the EPA from enforcing new standards to cut air pollution from cement plants. The amendment passed 250-177. As a consequence, the EPA would not be able to protect the public from mercury – 16,000 pounds a year of it – and other toxic emissions out of the air we breathe. Sadly, this would lead to 1,500 heart attacks, 17,000 cases of aggravated asthma and 2,500 premature deaths every year.
Amendment #466 offered by Rep. Poe (R-TX), passed 249-177, would prevent the EPA from setting any limits on emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons, or perfluorocarbons.
Amendment #84 offered by Rep. Pompeo (R-KS), to shutdown the EPA greenhouse gas registry, passed 239-185. This amendment would prevent EPA from collecting basic data from large emitters on how much carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping pollutants are being released into the air.
2. New Air Toxics Standards:
Today the Environmental Protection Agency released new health standard for industrial air toxics. These long overdue safeguards will reduce a myriad of pollutants that have threatened our public health for too long, including mercury, benzene, heavy metals, and acid gas. The EPA’s actions will save thousands of lives each year in addition to preventing thousands of heart attacks and tens of thousands of trips to the hospital for aggravated asthma and bronchitis. Please click here for more detailed talking points.
Updated Action Alert: Hold Congress Accountable for Vote to Strip Public Health Protections
Early Saturday morning the Republican controlled House of Representatives passed their FY11 spending bill (H.R. 1) by a vote of 235-189. Upon introduction the bill blocked the EPA’s ability to address carbon pollution and included budget cuts that would cripple critical programs to protect public health. During the floor debate last week the bill was loaded down by additional policy earmarks that would further put out air and water at risk. If signed into law, it would recklessly cut $100 billion in government spending by October 1, rollback bedrock environmental laws, and inflict grave harm to our economy and to our health. This legislation would mean more life-threatening air and water pollution, more global warming and less clean energy.
These attacks on our air, water, and land are unacceptable. House Members that voted for H.R. 1 must be held accountable. Instead of sending a letter directly to your Representative, consider sending a letter to the Editor of your local newspaper. This is an opportunity to share the devastating and broad reaching implications of this legislation with other concerned constituents. It is time for the Senate to assemble their own budget package and it will be critical to hold Senators responsible for their actions. See the updated sample letters from NRDC or contact Jamie Consuegra at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
EPA NSPS Listening Sessions:
Session 5: Petroleum Refinery Industry Representatives
Date: Mar. 4, 2011
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., public comments from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EST
Location: Washington D.C.
EPA Ariel Rios East Building
1201 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC, 20460
Directions: Click here
Click here for EPA Green House Gas Listening Session No. 2 Webcast, Atlanta, GA. 2.15.11.