Today, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on two dangerous bills that create exemptions for major polluters, H.R. 2250 and H.R. 2681.
The following is a statement by Earthjustice Associate Legislative Counsel Stephanie Maddin:
“Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Energy and Power Subcommittee considered the merits of two bills that seek to indefinitely delay long overdue reductions in toxic emissions from cement plants and industrial boilers, the two largest sources of man-made mercury pollution.
“Worse still, H.R. 2250 has a little-discussed provision that is pushing to exempt hundreds of thousands of polluters from the requirements of the Clean Air Act and make it so that 185,000 polluting facilities can burn all sorts of harmful waste chemicals, toxic products like old tires, and other industrial byproducts, spewing nasty materials and pollutants into the air for all the neighboring communities to breathe. Adding to this travesty is the fact that H.R. 2681 has a similar waste burning exemption for cement plants.
“House Majority Leader Cantor outlined delaying these public health protections as part of the GOP’s legislative plan in the coming months. Excusing polluters from their obligations under the Clean Air Act shows a disregard for the health and welfare of the American people. We oppose both bills and wish the committee would focus on legislation that improves the quality of life of citizens.
“We need our Congressional leaders to recognize that making people sicker and more likely to die prematurely doesn’t improve our economic competitiveness. A healthy environment and economy go hand-in-hand.”