Today the Senate rejected two bills today that would benefit the nation’s biggest polluters at the costs of tens of thousands of American lives. Both of these bills, offered by Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and John McCain (R-AZ), were written to excuse the nation’s biggest polluters of responsibility for their harmful pollution.
The Congressional Review Act repeal of the finalized Cross-State Air Pollution standard by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) would have exposed more than 240 million Americans to harmful and lethal air pollution and would have caused 13,000 to 34,000 deaths each year.
The McCain bill took numerous wrongheaded and dangerous ideas from the House’s pro-polluter agenda and folded them into one especially extreme bill that exposes American communities and families to harm, promotes the dirtiest forms of energy, gifts the worst polluters with reprieve from accountability, denies modern science, and moves this country backward instead of forward.
The following is a statement by Earthjustice legislative associate Stephanie Maddin:
“Communities and families across America are safer and stronger as a result of these two victories for clean air and common sense in our Senate today.
“We are relieved that the Senate recognizes that safe communities and clean air are not partisan issues. We all need to breathe clean air, and we are glad that our leaders in the Senate today voted to protect Americans instead of sacrifice them for selfish political interests.
“Sen. Paul’s resolution would have blocked limits on the toxic air pollution that moves across state boundaries. Preventing one state from dumping its toxic air pollution on its neighboring states is common sense, and protecting citizens from suffering the health impacts, even deaths, due to the air pollution of another state is only fair.
“Senators Paul’s and McCain’s bills are extreme and overreaching handouts to powerful political interests and polluting industries, at the expense of families and communities in this country. These are the type of bad and dangerous ideas that the House of Representatives is advancing daily, but to see common sense and decency prevail in the Senate is a reassurance that some of our nation’s leaders are still looking out for the American people.
“These toxic and harmful gifts to the worst polluters don’t create jobs; they kill and hurt a lot of Americans. The Senate is right to put our children’s health ahead of the narrow selfish interest of big polluters, and it should continue to do so.”
Liz Judge, Earthjustice, (202) 797-5237, 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.