Today, by a vote of 249 to 168, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the TRAIN Act (H.R. 2401), the first act of a Toxic Agenda pushed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) to dismantle our nation's clean air protections.
The following is a statement from Marty Hayden, Earthjustice's Vice President for Policy and Legislation.
"With the passage of this dangerous bill, Rep. Cantor and his colleagues who voted for it are forcing the American public to board a crazy train headed for a toxic future of dirty air, lung and heart disease, developmental disorders, brain damage and premature death.
"The TRAIN Act and Cantor's Toxic Agenda are promoted as a way to keep our economy healthy, but nothing could be further from the truth. These bills won't create jobs, but they will prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from taking actions that could save more than 25,000 lives every year and generate annual economic benefits of $420 billion. To have a healthy economy, we need a healthy population. The TRAIN Act will only make Americans sick by exposing them to air pollution that leads to hundreds of thousands of days of missed work and school every year. That hurts our economy.
“An amendment added by Representative Latta (OH) assaults 40 years of public health law eliminating the requirement that efforts to reduce smog pollution must rightfully be based on what science and medical evidence say is necessary to protect people. Instead, the House chose to pander to the polluters’ interests at the expense of public health.
“We commend the White House for its strong veto threat against the TRAIN Act. We look forward to the President’s veto threats on every bill of Cantor’s Toxic agenda, including legislation to block EPAs efforts to protect Americans from mercury spewing cement kilns and industrial boilers, as well as toxic coal ash.
"The TRAIN Act and Cantor's agenda are lose-lose. America wants and needs clean air protections. It's time for citizens to stand up and demand these protections so that the Senate doesn't decide to ride this crazy train to nowhere."
Liz Judge, Earthjustice, (202) 667-5237, cell (970) 710-9002
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.