Clean Air Act Digest, 4.15.11
Last Friday night, after weeks of negotiations and a near shutdown of the government, Congressional leaders reached a deal on the Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government until Sept 30, 2011. In a significant victory clean air supporters beat back another attempt to block clean air standards when House budget negotiators were forced to drop their insistence on extreme EPA riders. The White House and Senate leadership insisted the the Clean Air Act remain intact and a bill free of these damaging riders is expected to pass by this Friday. The bill does include 1.35 billion cuts to the EPA budget but will allow the agency to continue to move forward on reducing dangerous carbon pollution.
This Friday the House Energy and Commerce Energy and Power Subcommittee will have a hearings on EPA’s new limits on toxic pollution from industrial boilers and cement kilns and the proposal to set similar rules for coal-fired power plants. The rules, that have come under attack by House Republicans, would require these industries to install pollution controls that would save thousands of lives each year and prevent asthma, heart attacks and other life threatening illnesses. On Thursday Rep. Ed Whitfield, chairman of the subcommittee, told POLITICO to expect the GOP to roll out a bill following the two-week congressional recess that would block the implementation of these rules.
New Web Resources:
A new website from a coalition of environmental groups makes it easy to find out who voted for polluters or public health. DirtySecrets.org looks at how much money each of the “Dirty Air Politicians” who voted for polluters has taken from them. And it lets you know how many kids in their state have asthma, and how many times kids had to be rushed to an emergency room, gasping for breath, because of a severe asthma attack.
Want to find out the health impacts of power plant pollution since the EPA released their Mercury Air Toxics Rule? Visit Green for All’s new website costofdelay.org.
Senate “Dirty Air Amendments” Accountability
Last week the Senate defeated a suite of dirty air deals that would have prevented the Environmental Protection Agency from taking action to reduce carbon pollution.
Please take this opportunity to thank your Senator for standing up for the health of the nation, including children with asthma, and for challenging the agenda of big polluters.
Please take this opportunity to express your disappointment with your Senator’s vote to put the agenda of big polluters ahead of the health of the nation and children with asthma.
Be heard; let your Senators know you noticed where they stand with big polluters! See NRDC’s full action alert with sample letters, short descriptions of each amendment, and links to see how your senators voted. Or for more information contact Jamie Consuegra, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Power Shift April 15-18 Washington DC:
Join hundreds of activists on Monday in front of the White House who will deliver petitions on behalf of a quarter million Americans calling on President Obama to stand up for a future where we breathe free and polluters pay. For more details on the Power Shift Conference visit powershift2011.org.
Monday, April 18 at 10:00 AM
Power Shift Rally
Lafayette Square (north of White House)
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington DC
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/.
New Coal Ads, Sierra Club 4.14.11
Public Comment How-to for EPA’s Proposed Mercury Rule, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy April 2011
How My Mercury Level Hit Double the Safety Limit, Time Magazine Article 4.12.11
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Click here for past issues.