Ann Arbor, MI — Late yesterday, two U.S. Senators introduced dangerous legislation that seeks to block new public health protections. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), along with seven other Senators, introduced a bill that would block limits on global warming pollution from federal agencies, undermining landmark laws like the Clean Air Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.
At the same time, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced a bill to block for at least two years Environmental Protection Agency limits on global warming pollution from coal-fired power plants, oil refineries and other stationary sources under the Clean Air Act. Coal-fired power plants are the largest single source of global warming pollution in the U.S. The bill is cosponsored by six other Senators.
Environment Michigan State Associate Nicole Lowen issued the following statement in response:
“We are pleased that Senators Stabenow and Levin have not joined Senators Barrasso and Rockefeller in doing the bidding of the nation’s biggest polluters and placing the health of Michigan’s children, elderly citizens and other vulnerable populations at risk. The EPA and the Clean Air Act have been successfully protecting public health and the environment from dangerous pollution for four decades and this success should be built upon—not torn down.
“Global warming presents serious threats to Michigan’s health, our economy, and our future. The year 2010 tied as the hottest year on record globally, and if left unchecked, global warming will lead to more deadly heat waves, more unhealthy air days, the spread of infectious disease, and more frequent and intense storms.
“Rather than letting the EPA do its job to protect public health and our environment, some senators are trying to give the biggest polluters a free pass to keep polluting and threatening our health. Thankfully, Senators Levin and Stabenow did not cosponsor these dangerous proposals. We urge all of Congress to reject these attacks and instead stand up for cleaner air and a healthier future.”