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Congress V. The Environment: A Friend to Clean Air

Let’s hear it for the champions of clean air!

We at Earthjustice have spent the past several weeks countering one clean air attack after another as several elected leaders have aligned themselves with dirty polluters. But there are some in Congress who are not thinking of lining industry’s pockets and instead thinking of protecting their constituents’ right to breathe.

Among them: Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) who in an editorial today takes on colleague Rep. John Carter (R-TX) for his attack on important air rules that would drastically cut the amount of mercury in the air.

In the editorial, Rep. Johnson refutes many of Rep. Carter’s claims, among them, the rules' impacts on the economy:

Carter and his allies are standing behind false and inflated claims of job loss and industry collapse when, in truth, the EPA estimates that the rules could net as many as 1,300 new jobs and would prevent 130,000 missed work days. As the ranking member on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and the most senior Texan on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I know American innovation and technology can bolster our economy, while making our air cleaner and our communities healthier.

Rep. Johnson’s words resonate because she is also a nurse and a mother who recognizes the particular danger that mercury presents to women of child-bearing age and children. She concludes:

If Carter is successful, communities in Texas and beyond will be stripped of the air protections they deserve. I know I’m not alone in recognizing the need for strong safeguards against industrial polluters. Protecting our citizens from air pollution isn’t just the law, it’s a long-held bipartisan tradition under the Clean Air Act. For these reasons, I cannot allow a colleague to pursue a legislative agenda that will cost lives and leave entire communities vulnerable to mercury and other air pollution. Stand with me and say no to dirty polluters and their allies.

Danke schoen, Rep. Johnson! We need more leaders like you in Congress.

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