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Senator Moves to Undermine Public Health Protections Under Clean Air Act

Legislative maneuver attacks EPA's authority under the law to curb global warming pollution
January 21, 2010
Washington, DC —

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski is spearheading an effort to stop the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to curb global warming pollution, a move that directly attacks the Clean Air Act, one of the most successful environmental laws of the past 40 years. The following statement is from Sarah Saylor, senior legislative representative at Earthjustice.

"The U.S. EPA has found that global warming pollution is a threat to public health, and they are making the moves required by the Clean Air Act to do something about it. This action was authorized by the U.S. Supreme Court three years ago. It is a move supported by millions of Americans who want action on global warming and support the successes of the Clean Air Act.

"But now, Sen. Murkowski, in league with industry lobbyists, is pushing to turn back the clock on clean air, public health and the environment. She is moving to gut the Clean Air Act and force the EPA to a halt, adding further delay to an ongoing problem. Her plans to introduce a Congressional Review Act disapproval resolution of EPA's action is a legislative ploy that essentially vetoes the EPA's determination that global warming pollution is a public health threat. Her industry lobbyist ally, Jeff Holmstead, worked for the EPA under the Bush administration and pushed some of the biggest Clean Air Act attacks in the history of this 40-year old law.

"President Obama has said Congress must act to tackle global warming, and like millions of Americans, we await comprehensive climate legislation that works to solve the climate problem and creates clean energy jobs. But Congress must not sacrifice important laws like the Clean Air Act in the global warming fight. We need every tool we have in the toolbox to fight global warming and the Clean Air Act has a proven track record of success in cleaning the air and protecting public health.

"Sen. Murkowski's attempts to undermine the Clean Air Act pushes America back towards a dirty past and delays the true investments we need for a clean, healthy energy future."

Contacts

Raviya Ismail, Earthjustice, (202) 667-4500, ext. 221 

We're the lawyers for the environment, and the law is on our side.