Clean Air is No Joke
Question: what happens when an organization of health professionals, African American ministers, environmental advocates and two dozen kids walk into a
bar church? Sounds like the beginning of a good joke, right? Not so, says Clean Air Carolina, National Council of Churches, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) and USCAN, which joined forces last Monday to host a Citizens Hearing in Charlotte, North Carolina to support EPA’s new carbon pollution standard for new fossil fuel power plants. This group effort proved that drawing people from all walks of life together under the banner of “Clean Our Air” has the potential to create magic. The speakers in attendance offered up personal stories about why they were concerned about the impacts of dirty air on their families and communities and why the new standards for fossil fuel plants are a necessity for present and future generations. Those too young to take the mic gathered to write letters to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, drawing pictures and writing reasons for why kids love clean air: to breath, to play, to go to school (and even to do chores)! New friends, new perspectives and new connections were made over Carolina BBQ, baked beans and coleslaw, the perfect end to an inspirational night in Charlotte.
To read more about this hearing and see photos, check out USCAN’s Member Blog of the Week from SACE!
In other clean air news, there are two important pieces of legislation making their way through Congress this week.
On Wednesday, Senator Inhofe’s resolution (S.J. Res. 37) to void Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for power plants will be voted on in the Senate. Senator Inhofe and other opponents want to use an obscure method under the Congressional Review Act to compromise life-saving public health standards that were finalized in December 2012—and to bar EPA from issuing any standards in the future that are substantially similar. If you’re interested in sending out an action alert regarding this issue, please see below.
On the House side, the Gasoline Regulations Act of 2012 (H.R. 4471) will undergo floor consideration on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. The Gasoline Regulations Act, which we are calling the Gutting Air Standards Protection (GASP) Act, has been incorporated into a package of destructive drilling bills in the House called the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act (H.R. 4480). This bill would do nothing to reduce high gas prices but would block several clean air standards and gut the Clean Air Act’s health-based approach to setting ozone (smog) standards. For more details about both of these pieces of legislation, see our Clean Air Act Digest, which compiles the latest news on Clean Air Act legislation. Also, refer to our Defend the Clean Air Act page for fact sheets and sign-on letters opposing both S.J. Res. 37 and H.R. 4471.
Kellyn Garrison, Southeast Regional Coordinator.
Tell Your US Senators: Reject Attempt to Void
Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for Power
Plants and Protect our Children’s Health
US Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) continues to come to the rescue of big industrial polluters, this time by using the obscure Congressional Review Act (CRA) to try to kill EPA’s clean air standards for curbing mercury and other toxic pollutants from power plants. If Senate Joint Resolution 37 passes, this cynical procedural ploy will not only kill EPA clean air standards, it will also cost thousands of Americans—especially children—their health and lives.
Corporate polluters and their lobbyists are working hard to block these life-saving clean air standards. It’s time to do the right thing and protect our kids, families and communities from mercury, arsenic, acid gases and other toxics pouring out of dirty power plant smokestacks. It’s time for the polluters to clean up their act.
Tell your US Senators to vote NO on S.J.Res. 37 and protect our children’s’ health. Click here to see a full action alert and how to contact your Senators or check out USCAN member action alerts below.
- Tell Your Senators Not to Allow More Toxic Mercury Into Our Air, Natural Resources Defense Council: http://bit.ly/M79Ozs
- Stop the Inhofe Toxic Air Bill-send your senators a message, Environmental Defense Fund: http://bit.ly/M52g2R
- Call Your Senators And Tell Them To Oppose Sen. Inhofe’s Dangerous Bill, Moms Clean Air Force: http://bit.ly/NagVKy
- Tell Congress to Protect the EPA’s Health Safeguards, Sierra Club: http://bit.ly/M7bMjc
If you are a membership organization, please consider sending an action alert to your members. For additional information and/or talking points, contact Lara Levison at firstname.lastname@example.org.