Clean Air Act Digest, 9.20.12
Congress will recess at the end of this week, reconvening after the November elections for a “lame duck” session starting on November 13.
House of Representatives:
Making yet another attack on the environment prior to recessing for the elections, the House leadership has bundled a number of anti-environmental bills into a package called the “Stop the War on Coal Act.” The House is expected begin debate TODAY (Sept. 20) and vote tomorrow on this bill, H.R. 3409. H.R. 3409 purports to address coal, but in fact takes aim at basic laws that help keep the American public safe, including the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.
Among other provisions, it would eliminate EPA’s Clean Air Act authority to address climate change and block all climate-related standards, including the new EPA rules for automobiles and the proposed carbon pollution rule. It would also force EPA to delay by at least six to seven years the implementation of smog, soot, and toxic air pollution replacement standards. This letter of opposition contains more details on the bill. Contact your US Representative TODAY and urge him or her to vote “no” on H.R. 3409—see action alert below.
Also today (Sept. 20), the Energy and Power Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce committee is holding a hearing on H.R. 6172. Introduced by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV), this bill would block EPA from setting any standards for power plant carbon pollution until one specific technology – carbon capture and storage (CCS) – is deemed technologically and economically feasible by a panel of four federal officials outside of EPA.
This bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing designed to block the proposed power plant standards. Carbon pollution from America’s power plants is fueling climate change, triggering more asthma attacks and other illnesses, and driving increasingly extreme weather—heat waves and drought, storms and floods—with staggering costs to life, limb, and property. H.R. 6172 would rewrite the Clean Air Act and indefinitely block action to clean up America’s largest source of carbon pollution. Congress must reject this latest attempt to keep EPA from doing its job to protect public health and our children’s future.
See this letter opposing H.R. 6172 for more details.
On June 14, EPA proposed a new rule to protect America’s families and children from fine particulate matter, also called soot. The public comment period on the rule closed on August 31. We are pleased to report that supporters of strengthening soot standards submitted 422,752 comments to EPA. Thank you to all who sent in comments! EPA is under a court-ordered deadline to finalize the soot rule by December 14.
Urgent Action Alert—Take Action TODAY!
The House is debating TODAY (Sept. 20) and voting tomorrow on H.R. 3409, the “Stop the War on Coal Act,” H.R. 3409. This bill has little to do with coal, and everything to do with reversing decades of successful environmental law. This extremist package would undermine the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, as well as other laws that safeguard our lands and waters from strip mining and waste dumping. Dirty air, undrinkable water and decimated mountains won’t create jobs or improve the economy, but they will put our children’s and communities’ health at risk.
Urge your U.S. Representative to vote “no” on H.R. 3409, the so-called “Stop the War on Coal Act.” Click here to look up your US Representative by zip code, or call the congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121.
Letter Opposing H.R. 6172, Group Sign-on Letter, 9.19.12
The Assault on Our Health (H.R. 6172 & H.R. 3409), Natural Resources Defense Council Blog, 9.19.12
Business Groups Letter in Opposition to HR 3409, Business Groups Sign-on, 9. 19.12
Opposition letter to HR 3409, Group Sign-on Letter, 9.18.12
H.R. 3409, An Assault on America’s Cornerstone Environmental Protections, Democratic Staff of the Energy and Commerce Committee Fact Sheets, 9.18.12
Pro-Fossil Fuel Groups Outspend Clean Energy Advocates 4-1 In Television Campaign Ads, Think Progress Blog, 9.18.12
Broad Opposition to Clean Air Act Rollbacks in H.R. 3409, Updated 9.17.12
Who Votes Dirty? Congressional Air Pollution Vote Record, Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund Web Page
Above is a sampling of the most recent resources related to upholding the Clean Air Act. 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.