Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Clean Air Act Digest, 7.12.13

Clean Air Act Digest




As of today, July 12, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been without a permanent administrator for 148 days. Early next week, the US Senate is expected to take action—finally—on several of President Obama’s nominations, including Gina McCarthy to lead the EPA. First, the Senate must vote on “motions to end debate” on the nominations; these “cloture motions” require 60 votes in order to pass the Senate and end a filibuster. Once cloture is achieved, the nominations can be approved by a simple majority of Senators. Earlier this week, Senator David Vitter (R-LA), the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, indicated that he would no longer hold up the McCarthy nomination. It is likely that other Republican Senators will follow his lead, since EPW is the committee of jurisdiction for the McCarthy nomination. However, it is possible that this and other nominations will become caught up in a larger debate in the Senate over whether to restrict the use of the filibuster. Please contact your US Senators and urge them to vote for McCarthy—see action alerts below.


On Wednesday, the Energy and Power Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the “Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013,” H.R. 1582. This extraordinary and unprecedented bill would, in one fell swoop, effectively rewrite fundamental environmental statutes, grant the Department of Energy (DOE) sweeping new powers, and eliminate federal responsibility to consider the public’s health and safety. The bill gives DOE veto power over any “energy related” EPA rule costing over $1 billion. NRDC sent a letter to the subcommittee urging them to vote against this dangerous bill.


Urge Your US Senators: Support Gina McCarthy for EPA Administrator

Gina McCarthy’s nomination for EPA administrator is awaiting a vote on the Senate floor but is still facing opposition.

As head of the EPA’s clean air division, McCarthy fought hard to get strong safeguards across the finish line, and she was instrumental in placing emissions limits on new power plants and requiring better vehicle fuel efficiency. She’s helped secure historic public health safeguards, including life-saving standards to restrict soot, mercury and other toxics—safeguards that will avert thousands of heart attacks and premature deaths each year and prevent tens of thousands of asthma attacks annually.

There is still time to make a difference. Contact your Senators and urge them to vote to confirm Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency.


Tell the Senate:  Confirm Gina McCarthy as EPA Chief, League of Conservation Voters Action Alert

Support Gina McCarthy as EPA Chief, Environmental Defense Fund Action Alert

Tell Your Senators:  Support Gina McCarthy’s Nomination as EPA Administrator, Clean Air Force Action Alert

Confirm Gina McCarthy as EPA Administrator Now!, MomsRising Action Alert

Urge Senate to Support Gina McCarthy for EPA, Interfaith Power and Light Action Alert


It’s Time to Confirm Gina McCarthy, Climate Progress Article, 7.11.13

What David Vitter Got for Blocking Gina McCarthy, Politico Article, 7.11.13

US-China Climate Change Working Group Fact Sheet, US Department of State, 7.10.13

Sportsmen Groups Ask Senate to Approve Gina McCarthy for EPA, National Wildlife Federation, 7.9.13

Small Businesses Crank Up Pressure on EPA Confirmation Vote, Fuel Fix Blog, 7.2.13

Less Carbon, More Jobs, Lower Bills, Natural Resources Defense Council Report, 7.1.13

Don’t forget USCAN has a series of pages that compile items like these and much more:

Congressional Attacks on the Clean Air Act

Industrial Carbon Pollution Standards

Standards for Power Plants and Other Major Emitters

Clean Vehicle Standards

Clean Air Act Digest is a publication put together by US Climate Action Network and Natural Resources Defense Council. Please contact Lara Levison at for more details. Click here for past issues.