Clean Air Act Digest, 4.1.11
When the Senate returned from recess earlier this week, they resumed negotiations on a Small Business bill (S. 493). A handful of Senators filed unrelated amendments that would have serious consequences for the EPA’s ability to manage carbon pollution from industrial sources as well as land use changes (eg. clearing forests). While there were no votes on the amendments this week, it is likely that we will face a vote early next week. Below are descriptions of the bad amendments, all of which stop work underway to clean-up health-threatening pollution:
* McConnell (R-KY) Amendment #183: Would allow unlimited carbon pollution and increase our dependence on foreign oil. Learn more.
* Rockefeller (D-WV) Amendment #215: Would allow unlimited carbon pollution from big polluters for at least two years, stop the clean-up in progress, and set the stage for permanently allowing unlimited pollution from these sources. Learn more.
* Stabenow (D-MI)/Brown (D-OH) Amendment #277: Would let polluters off the hook by blocking enforcement of carbon pollution safeguards for two years, stop the clean-up in progress, and like Rockefeller pave the way for providing a permanent free-pass to polluters. The amendment would also permanently prevent the EPA from considering emissions resulting from land use changes, Learn more.
* Baucus (D-MT) Amendment #236: Would allow large emission sources to be built or modified with no requirement to limit their carbon pollution. Like the Stabenow amendment, the Baucus amendment would also prevent the EPA from considering emissions resulting from land use changes. Learn more.
Chairman Upton’s Dirty Air Act is expected to come to the House floor for a vote next week. This bill, H.R. 910, would permanently block the EPA’s ability to limit carbon pollution.
There were troubling reports earlier this week that President Obama would allow policy riders to be attached to the next spending bill. And while we have seen some press reports that he will not allow extraneous pieces of legislation to be attached to the Continuing Resolution it is important that his office hear from the public. This week’s action alert asks President Obama to veto any legislation that threatens clean air.
Tell President Obama to Veto Any Bills That Weaken Protections for Our Health and Environment.
Big polluters are working hard to make deals that would threaten the air we breathe and they are trying to attach these dirty deals to just about every piece of legislation considered by Congress. Urge President Obama to publicly commit to vetoing any legislation that includes harmful riders that would jeopardize protections for our health and environment.
EPA Power Plant Air Toxics Dear Colleague:
Representative Capps, Schakowsky and Wasserman Schultz are currently circulating a dear colleague letter in the House of Representatives in support of the EPA Power Plant Air Toxics Rule. Please urge Representatives to sign on to this letter to show support for protecting kids from mercury and toxic air pollution. For more details please contact Paul Billings at America Lung Association, email@example.com.
Comments for Mercury and Air Toxics Standards:
Two weeks ago, EPA announced the most important actions to clean up air pollution from dirty coal-burning power plants since the Clean Air Act was last updated in 1990. EPA’s proposed mercury and air toxics standards for power plants that burn coal and oil are projected to save as many as 17,000 American lives every year by 2015. There is no official deadline yet but once officially submitted into the Federal Register we will have 60 days to submit comments. Please see the Sierra Club’s factsheet and sample action alert and comment card for more information.
Public Hearings for Mercury Air Toxics Standard:
EPA will hold public hearings on the recently released Mercury Air Toxics Standard in Philadelphia, Chicago and Atlanta. Details on the timing and location for those hearings will be made available soon in a separate Federal Register notice and posted at http://www.epa.gov/airquality/powerplanttoxics/.
150 Groups Oppose Policy Riders in Funding Bill, Group Letter 3.31.11
Health Groups Oppose All 4 Amendments that Block the Environmental Protection Agency, Joint Health Group Letter 3.30.11
Environmental and Other Organizations Oppose Amendments to S.493, Natural Resources Defense Council 3.30.11
Latinos’ Group Letter to Protect the Clean Air Act and Oppose Bills that Block the Environmental Protection Agency, Latinos’ Joint Letter 3.29.11
A Siege Against the EPA and Environmental Progress, Op-Ed The Washington Post 3.24.11
Climate and Your Health, Natural Resources Defense Council Fact Sheet
Clean Air Act Digest is a publication put together by US Climate Action Network and Natural Resources Defense Council please contact Kate Smolski at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Click here for past issues.