Clean Air Act Digest, 4.26.13
The Senate Environmental and Public Works committee is expected to vote on the nomination of Gina McCarthy, President Obama’s pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, in the next couple weeks, possibly May 8. The final step in the confirmation process is a vote by the full Senate.
A group of states, led by Texas, has petitioned the US Supreme Court to review the June 2012 decision by the DC Circuit that upheld EPA’s authority to set standards for greenhouse gas emissions. The petitioners charge that EPA has overstepped its authority under the Clean Air Act. The other signers are the attorneys general from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina and South Dakota, as well as the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. The state of Virginia and a coalition of industry and utility groups have also filed petitions challenging the 2012 decision. (Source: Energy & Environment, April 22, 2013, subscription required).
“State of the Air” Report:
Released on April 24, the American Lung Association’s annual “State of the Air” report finds that air quality nationwide continues the long-term trend to much healthier air. The strongest progress came in lower levels of year-round particle pollution across much of the nation. Still, many cities that ranked among the most polluted had more unhealthy days of high ozone and short-term particle pollution than in the 2012 report.
“State of the Air 2013” is the Lung Association’s 14th annual, national air quality “report card.” It uses the most recent air pollution data, compiled by the EPA for the two most widespread types of pollution: ozone (smog) and particle pollution (PM 2.5, also known as soot). The report grades counties and ranks cities and counties based on their scores for ozone, year-round particle pollution and short-term particle pollution levels. Is your city on America’s most polluted list? Or are you in one of our cleanest cities? Find out here.
Ask Obama: How Much Longer for Climate Action?
It’s been months since President Obama said we’d "respond to the threat of climate change" during his State of the Union address. The president has shown he’s serious about climate change by proposing limits on carbon from new power plants. And he’s nominated Gina McCarthy, the senior Environmental Protection Agency official responsible for moving those safeguards forward, to run the EPA.
But the EPA has missed its deadline to put those limits in place and is still reviewing the 3 million letters you helped submit last summer in support of those limits. Since then, we pumped over one billion tons of carbon dioxide—the greenhouse gas responsible for the extreme floods, storms, wildfires and droughts that threaten our families—into our atmosphere. We can’t wait for these standards to be finalized—we need Obama’s leadership on climate action now. Please consider taking individual action and sending an action alert to your own organization’s members and supporters.
It’s time for a plan. Ask President Obama what he will do to protect our families from climate change.
Ask Obama: How much longer for climate action?, Natural Resource Defense Council Action Alert
Show Your Support for the Proposed Cleaner Gasoline and Tailpipe Standards (“Tier 3”)
On March 29, EPA proposed standards for cleaner gasoline and vehicles. While vehicles are now cleaner than they used to be, this is still significant news. With plans to finalize this proposal in 2013, EPA is expected to establish more stringent tailpipe standards and reduce the sulfur content of gasoline beginning in 2017. The benefits have been compared to taking 33 million cars off the road, and these results can be achieved for a penny or less per gallon of gasoline.
These proposed standards are supported by a diverse coalition of organizations and industry—and a majority of Americans, too—because they will reduce air pollution, save lives, and create thousands of new jobs in an ailing economy. However, oil companies and their allies in Congress are working hard to stop the proposed standards, making misleading, discredited claims regarding the impact the standards will have on consumers. There is still time to make your voice heard. We encourage you to participate in the public comment period before it ends on June 13, 2013. In addition to taking individual action, consider sending an action alert to your members and supporters either via your own organization’s action alert or the links provided below.
Stand up for clean air and submit your official comment for cleaner gasoline and tailpipe standards now!
Kids Don’t Deserve Asthma: Take Action for Cleaner Tailpipes!, Sierra Club Action Alert
Breaking News: EPA Proposes Tough New Standards, American Lung Association Action Alert
Urge the EPA to Move Ahead with Clean Fuel and Tailpipe Standards, Union of Concerned Scientists Action Alert
Call to Action: Support the Cleaner Gasoline and Tailpipe Standards (Tier 3), Great round-up of resources and ways to get involved from the Union of Concerned Scientists
Tell the EPA: Cleaner Air is Worth a Penny, Natural Resources Defense Council Action Alert
Public Hearings and Public Comment Period
The second public hearing for the Tier 3 proposed rulemaking will be held on April 29, 2013 at the Doubletree Magnificent Mile, 300 E. Ohio Street, Chicago, IL 60611. To sign up to testify, call (734) 214-4454. Public comments must be submitted on or before June 13, 2013. For more details, please see the second action alert above.
State of the Air Report: 2013, American Lung Association
EPA Hearing: Citizens Urge Agency to Finalize Cleaner Gasoline and Tailpipe Standards, Natural Resources Defense Council Blog, 4.25.13
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.