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Nathan Willcox,
Environment America

U.S. Senate to Vote on Attacks on Public Health Today

For Immediate Release

UPDATE: The U.S. Senate ended up not voting on any of the attacks on public health on March 31, but votes are still expected in the coming days.  Check back here for updates. 

Washington, D.C. — Today the U.S. Senate will be voting on several proposals that would threaten Americans’ health by blocking the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to clean up dangerous carbon dioxide pollution.  Several of the proposals would also further our dependence on oil and hurt consumers by blocking efforts to put cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars on the road. 

Environment America Federal Global Warming Program Director Nathan Willcox issued the following statement in anticipation of the votes:

“Polluters and their allies in Congress are launching a brazen attack on America’s public health and our environment, and we’re counting on Senators to stand up for Americans and vote against the dangerous amendments we expect to be offered by Senators McConnell, Rockefeller, Stabenow and Baucus.  Global warming presents serious threats to Americans’ health, our economy and our future, but these proposals would weaken the Clean Air Act’s ability to protect us from the very pollution that is fueling the problem.  Furthermore, some of the proposals would cause Americans even more pain at the gas pump and further our dependence on oil by wiping out critical clean car programs.”

BACKGROUND:

Despite the Clean Air Act’s 40 year track record of cost-effectively cutting dangerous pollution, and the many serious health and environmental threats posed by global warming, several amendments are expected to be voted on today in the U.S. Senate which would block or weaken the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to clean up carbon dioxide pollution.  The proposals are being offered as amendments to an unrelated small business bill (S. 493).

-Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is offering an amendment mirroring Sen. Inhofe’s bill (S. 482) to block the EPA from cleaning up dangerous carbon dioxide pollution, overturn scientific findings regarding the threats posed by global warming, and block EPA and the states from cutting global warming pollution and cutting oil use through clean car standards.

-Senator Stabenow (D-MI) is offering an amendment that would block the implementation of standards to cut global warming pollution from coal-fired power plants, oil refineries and other industrial sources for at least two years, and block states from reducing global warming pollution and cutting oil use through clean car standards.

-Senator Rockefeller (D-WV) is offering an amendment that would block the EPA’s ability to set or even do research and gather stakeholder input on standards to cut global warming pollution from coal-fired power plants, oil refineries and other industrial sources for at least two years.

-Senator Baucus (D-MT) is offering an amendment that would block the clean-up of global warming pollution from biomass facilities and also would permanently exempt even the very largest sources of global warming pollution from having to clean up their global warming pollution unless the source is also a very large source of other pollutants.