Senate Rejects Attempts To Bail Out Big Polluters at Cost of American Public

Four Dirty Air Acts voted down by Senate today


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

Today the Senate rejected four separate amendments seeking to stop EPA from doing its job — protecting the American public from harmful pollution — where climate change pollution is concerned.

The amendments were offered on an unrelated small business innovation bill (S.493) by Sens. Rockefeller (S.AMDT.215), McConnell and Inhofe (S.AMDT.183), Baucus (S.AMDT.236), and Stabenow (S.AMDT.265). All of them aimed to block or delay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from commonsense limits on the carbon dioxide pollution of the nation’s biggest polluters.

In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that that greenhouse gases are covered by the Clean Air Act, and the EPA is required to regulate them under this Act if found to endanger public health and welfare.

The following is a statement by Earthjustice Senior Legislative Representative Sarah Saylor:

“Today we saw four separate amendments that were written for big polluters go down in the Senate. The failure of these attempts to boost the profits of the biggest corporate polluters at the expense of the American people is a victory for our country, our future, and for anyone who wants to breathe clean air, especially children, elderly, and the sick.

“The science shows us that carbon dioxide pollution is expected to exacerbate asthma and lung diseases by worsening smog, and to increase deadly heat waves and extreme weather conditions. Carbon dioxide pollution and climate change pose far-reaching threats to this country and the businesses that keep us running, including increased risk of heavy storm surges and flooding, harm to clean drinking water supplies, significant crop failures, and disease outbreaks.

“We’re encouraged by the champions in the Senate who worked to fight off these attacks on the air Americans breathe today, especially in the face of the immense corporate and dirty energy interests who have obviously found their champions in the sponsors of these amendments.

“These carbon dioxide pollution limits protect all Americans, and help to strengthen our health, reduce asthma, save us money in gas costs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and arm our economy to compete in the global market. Attempting to block these protective pollution limits and the agencies tasked with implementing them for the benefit of a few big polluter corporations is an audacious endeavor.

“We’re glad to see the Senate stand up for science-based pollution limits under the landmark Clean Air Act that will protect the health and welfare of all Americans. Political and corporate interests should not be able to swoop in and stop an agency from doing its job to protect the American public.

“While we don’t think these backwards-moving, counter-productive amendments have any business seeing the light of day in Congress, we’re glad to see them get the rejection they deserve in the Senate.”

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