Congress stands common sense on its head” - Statement from The Wilderness Society

Apr 7, 2011

The Wilderness Society President William H. Meadows issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from using good science to protect public health from dangerous pollutants.

“The attempt today to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from using good science to make regulatory decisions stands common sense on its head.  Congress should be prohibiting regulatory action UNLESS if follows good science, not IF it does.  Instead, the House has swung over to an extreme view that vilifies the nation’s chief protector of public health and champions exemptions for polluters.

“Americans have benefited from the Clean Air Act for four decades – enjoying increasingly cleaner air as well as healthier ecosystems and lower risks of asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.  In addition, by repealing increased fuel efficiency standards, this bill makes Americans more dependent on foreign oil and threatens our wild landscapes with  unnecessary fossil fuel development that fouls the air, the water, and the lungs of our children.

“The President’s threatened veto shows that this bill is not one designed to improve the lives of Americans, but to appease big polluters. The House seems determined to stick its feet in the air and its head in the sand, but at least the United States Senate yesterday rejected the extreme position that the Environmental Protection Agency should be prohibited from using the best science to protect the public health.  The McConnell/Inhofe permanent ban lost on a 50-50 vote (60 votes needed to pass), and three other attempts to limit the EPA from Senators Baucus, Stabenow and Rockefeller were all defeated by lopsided margins.  These votes in the Senate, and President Obama’s threatened veto, mean that the tide of vitriol heaped on EPA may have crested and common sense can re-emerge.”