The U.S. Senate voted in favor of protecting clean air in America and holding the nation's biggest polluters accountable for their global warming emissions. In a crucial vote this afternoon, the Senate rejected a dangerous resolution by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) intended to reverse the Environmental Protection Agency's finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health and will be regulated under the Clean Air Act.
By rejecting this resolution, the Senate kept intact the historic fuel efficiency standards for all cars and light trucks finalized this spring that will reduce our nation's dependence on oil and promote major pollution cuts.
The following statement is from Earthjustice senior legislative representative Sarah Saylor:
"The Senate was faced with an important decision today: Will it work to protect the American people, safeguard our environment, and promote a clean-energy economy -- or will it work to protect the worst polluters, the ones who use their deep pockets to try to buy Washington?
"The American people won today. One of our nation's most effective environmental laws, the Clean Air Act, stands intact after 40 years of serving public health and our planet.
"The Senate has spoken and our nation's leaders agree that we need this cornerstone Act, and in fact we need every tool we have to shift our country toward a prosperous and healthy clean-energy future.
"We thank and applaud the 53 Senators who stood up against irresponsible polluters and voted for accountability and responsibility.
"For the last several months, we have heard many of the senators who supported this resolution, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski, argue that the Senate should be legislating climate change and energy policy. So now that that this matter is settled, we take them at their word and look forward to seeing the Senate move forward immediately on advancing and passing a strong, comprehensive climate change and energy Senate bill. We also look forward to seeing the historic clean cars standards take effect on July 6 and reduce our dependence on oil.
"As our worst environmental disaster in American history continues to unfold, there's never been a better moment for our nation's leaders to hold polluters accountable."
Liz Judge, Earthjustice, (202) 667-4500, ext. 237
Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.