Power plant pollution. Courtesy EPA.
One of our country’s most successful and long-running health and environmental laws is under attack and the Wilderness Society wants you to know what you can do to help protect it
First some background: The Clean Air Act, which defines the EPA’s responsibilities for protecting air quality, has been protecting the public from unchecked, dangerous pollution for nearly 40 years.
However, at a time when the nation is trying to move forward on limiting pollution, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is planning to introduce an amendment that would strip the Clean Air Act of its powers — blocking job-creating and public health benefits, and letting the nation’s biggest polluters off the hook.
Specifically, Murkowski’s legislation would limit the EPA from regulating global warming pollutants, despite the fact that the EPA has found such pollutants to endanger public health. Essentially, with Murkowski’s amendment, the nation’s biggest polluters, such as coal-fired power plants would be exempt from the Act.
It was in December that the EPA released an endangerment finding determining that greenhouse gases threaten the public health and welfare of the public. Now, the agency is rightfully preparing rules that curtail such emissions.
However, Murkowski is opposed to the EPA doing its job to protect public health — even though the Supreme Court has in fact ruled that the Clean Air Act requires the EPA to determine whether global warming pollutants are a danger to public health and welfare and limit emissions accordingly.
This amendment would not only take the teeth out of the Clean Air Act, but it would undermine President Obama’s efforts to chart a clean energy course for America.
Murkowski’s amendment will most likely be considered for a vote during this session of Congress.
What you can do to help is this: Contact your senator today and urge them to vote NO on this dangerous amendment. Need help? Click here.
photo: Power plant pollution. Courtesy EPA.