On the eve of Earth Day, Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) is proposing an amendment that, if incorporated into the Senate’s forthcoming climate and energy bill, will halt attempts — be it by cities, states, or federal agencies — to address and curb climate change.
It would block the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, as confirmed by the Supreme Court’s Massachusetts v. EPA decision; block states from moving forward with their plans to address climate change; and block efforts to use other critical environmental laws such as the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act to address climate change.
The following statement regarding Sen. Voinovich’s proposal is from Earthjustice senior legislative representative Sarah Saylor:
“What Senator Voinovich is proposing is simply outrageous. He is saying that the most fundamental and effective environmental laws that this country has had in place for decades should not apply to the single-most pressing environmental threat today. This makes absolutely no sense.
“Just as the Senate is preparing a major bill to address climate change and seize on the opportunities of promoting a clean-energy economy, Sen. Voinovich wants to offer this amendment that would conflict with the very goal of that legislation.
“Other proposals to turn back the clock in favor of big polluters and stand in the way of a clean-energy economy, job growth, and a healthy and prosperous future for America — such as those put forth by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) — are similarly wrongheaded, but this is the most sweeping proposal to date because of the numerous laws it seeks to undermine.
“This proposal would stand in the way of mayors, governors, and elected officials around the country who are trying to protect their communities and citizens from the threats of climate change. It would wipe out all of their efforts, which are supported widely and passionately by voters and citizens across the country.
“It would also disable other federal efforts to take climate change into account and stand in the way of protections already in place to safeguard the public, our water resources, our endangered species, and our environment.
“Sen. Voinovich’s proposal is the exact opposite of any serious effort to protect the public from global warming. Senators from all around the country must stand up for the health and prosperity of their constituents and reject this wildly unacceptable proposal.”