Clean Air Act Digest, 9.16.11
As we reported last week, House Majority Leader Cantor (R-VA) released a Pollution Agenda for the fall. His plan won’t help the economy, but will cost tens of thousands of lives. The vast majority of rollbacks discussed in Cantor’s memo would block or gut public health safeguards, leading to more harmful pollution that causes asthma, heart attacks and even death.
On Tuesday, the Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Energy and Power passed two bills that could indefinitely delay much needed clean air safeguards to reduce mercury, toxic metals, acid gases, and other hazardous pollutants from cement plants and industrial boilers. Both of these bills are in Cantor’s plan.
– H.R. 2681 would void standards for smog, soot, mercury and toxic air pollution for cement plants. These standards are already 13 years overdue, and this bill would further delay standards by a minimum of 4.5 years, while eliminating any deadline for EPA to act. The bill results in up to 2,500 lives lost for every year the standards are further delayed.
– H.R. 2250 indefinitely delays clean-up of toxic air pollution from industrial boilers and incinerators. These plants spew toxic air pollution such as cancer-causing dioxins and mercury, which harms children’s brains. EPA has announced that it is reconsidering these standards and expects to finalize them by April of 2012. Cleaning up toxic emissions from these sources could save up to 6,500 lives each year. The bill blocks critical health protections against mercury and toxic air pollution that are already a decade overdue, resulting in more asthma attacks, more illness, and avoidable deaths.
The House is expected to vote on the TRAIN act as early as next week. This bill would prevent EPA from going forward with Mercury and Air Toxics standards for power plants and the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule to cut smog and soot pollution from power plants by indefinitely delaying these standards. The bill also creates additional red-tape delays that tie the hands of EPA health and science professionals. EPA estimates that these two standards will have a net impact creating over 9,000 jobs, with health benefits that will save Americans hundreds of billions of dollars each year once fully implemented. Please see the Action Alert section for more information.
Senators Johanns and Grassley formally introduced legislation (S. 1528) to block the EPA’s ability to curb large particulate pollution. This attack on clean air also appears on Rep. Cantor’s hit list. The EPA is currently studying the science behind the soot standards, as required by the Clean Air Act, but has yet to propose a standard. The bill prevents EPA from even examining new science or proposing any new standards about such soot pollution.
Senator Rand Pual (R-KY) introduced a resolution that would block the implantation of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule to cut smog and soot pollution from power plant. A companion resolution was introduced in the house.
Yesterday Lisa Jackson announced that the Environmental Protection Agency will miss the deadline for proposing limits on carbon pollution from power plants. These are the nation’s largest source of carbon pollution and the time has come to clean them up. It is unclear how long the delay will be.
Tell Your Representative to Reject Rep. Cantor’s Reckless Attacks on Clean Air:
House Republican leaders have declared war on our right to breathe clean, healthy air. This misguided effort is spearheaded by Majority Leader Cantor (R-VA), whose TRAIN Act would block the EPA’s proposed standards to control mercury and power plant pollution. Urge your representative to vote No on the TRAIN Act (H.R. 2401) and other reckless attacks on our clean air safeguards. Click here to see Natural Resources Defense Council’s action alert for sample language or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Save the Date: September 20 is Healthy Air Call-In Day
The American Lung Association invites you to participate in Healthy Air Call-In Day on Tuesday, September 20. This is an opportunity for all of us to speak with one voice about the need to protect the air we breathe and clean up air pollution from power plants. Join with thousands of others from across the U.S. who care about the air we breathe. Call your Representative and two Senators in Washington, and ask them to support clean and healthy air and to oppose weakening the Clean Air Act. See template instructions for call-in day here (USCAN log-in required).
Want to do more? Use hashtag #HealthyAirCallinDay on twitter and ask your followers to participate. Update your Facebook status by telling your friends to join our fight for air.
For additional questions, please contact PBillings@lungusa.org.
Carbon Standards Urgently Needed To Protect Kids, Planet, Natural Resources Defense Council Press Release 9.15.11
House Subcommittee OKs Toxic Waste-Burning Bill, Earthjustice Press Release on HR 2250 9.13.11
Luminant Plays Politics with Employees’ Jobs, Blames EPA for Consequences of Power Company’s Decision to Fight Much Needed Clean Air Rules, Environmental Defense Fund 9.13.11
A False Choice Between Jobs and Pollution, Press Democrat Editorial 9.12.11
Small Businesses Support Air Quality Regulations!, Joint Small Business Groups Press Release 9.12.11
Air Pollution Claims Llives, Costs Jobs, Fosters 9.12.11
Why Environmental Policies Don’t Kill Jobs, Forbes 9.9.11
http://cleanairpromise.org/, Learn about the Clean Air Promise.
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 email@example.com for more details. Click here for past issues.