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Paying Favors to Big Industry Polluters, House Wages Another Attack on Clean Air

Bill introduced by Rep. Upton and others reads like a love letter to nation’s biggest polluter industries
March 3, 2011
Washington, D.C. —

Today Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) introduced a House of Representatives bill to block federal controls on carbon dioxide pollution from the nation's biggest polluters. In the Senate, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) is expected to soon introduce a similar version of the bill.

The following is a statement from Earthjustice senior legislative representative Sarah Saylor:

"This House bill is yet another Dirty Air Act intended to give the nation's biggest polluters a way out of limits to their carbon dioxide—pollution that’s likely to exacerbate asthma and lung diseases by worsening smog, and increase deadly heat waves and extreme weather conditions. But climate change isn't just threatening Americans' health; it is also threatening our well-being and ability to prosper now and into the future.

"We know that carbon dioxide pollution and climate change will have far-reaching effects on this country and the businesses that keep us running. We are threatened with heavy storm surges that will cost us both ecologically and economically, with harm to our clean drinking water supplies, with severe impacts on crop harvests and livestock production and food prices, with harm to life and critical fisheries in our coastal areas, and with new disease threats.

"Volumes of science prove that wiping away limits on carbon dioxide pollution and the health benefits these limits will provide will hurt Americans all over the country. Most Americans recognize the importance of these pollution limits and agree that science, not politicians with political motives, should be followed when setting these pollution controls, as the Environmental Protection Agency has done. The Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that, based on all the science in front of us, the EPA must move forward on controlling carbon dioxide pollution under the Clean Air Act’s requirements. It’s been almost four years of these blocks and obstructions by some members of Congress who want to brush aside this mandate and ignore the science."

The following statement is from Earthjustice associate legislative counsel Stephanie Maddin:

"Recent polls show us that 73 percent of the American population wants stricter limits on carbon dioxide pollution, not free reign for the biggest polluters and more exemptions and more Congressional interference and obstruction. Americans want to hold polluters accountable, and they want federal action on climate change pollution. What's even more embarrassing for Rep. Upton is that recent polls in his own district show that a strong majority of his constituents—62 percent—oppose this bill and efforts to stop the EPA from limiting carbon dioxide pollution.

"It's time for our elected representatives to stop acting on behalf of major polluting industries that would like to spew out their carbon dioxide pollution totally unrestrained, harming the rest of us. It's time for these polluters and their friends in Congress to get out of the way of clean air and a secure future for America."

Contacts

Liz Judge, Earthjustice, (202) 667-4500, ext. 237

About Earthjustice

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.