From Huffington Post:
The U.S. House of Representatives forwarded a bill on Friday that environmental leaders warn would undermine the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to curb air pollution and protect public health. Green groups are now urging the Senate and President Barack Obama to stand strong — and avoid a repeat of recent environmental health failures, such as the shelving of proposed ozone and greenhouse gas standards.
“The Tea Party House has passed, with ease, the most radical dirty-air legislation in the history of this country,” John Walke, the clean air director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told HuffPost. “It absolutely eviscerates the legal standards for adopting emissions limits under the Clean Air Act.”
Introduced by Rep. John Sullivan (R-Okla.), the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act would create a special committee to oversee the EPA’s rules and regulations, and require the agency to consider economic impacts on polluters when it sets standards concerning how much air pollution is too much. For the last 41 years, since passage of the Clean Air Act, only scientific and medical considerations have been allowed in that analysis.
“This results in lying to the American people about whether the air is healthy or not,” said Walke.
The TRAIN Act would also repeal or block new and pending clean air safeguards, from standards that would curb mercury emissions from power plants to limits on pollution that travels across state lines. According to EPA estimates, such measures would save 140,000 lives over the five or more years of proposed delays.
This sounds like dreadful legislation. So now clean air is going to be held political hostage? The American Lung Association sent out its Coughing Baby Red Carriage Cards to every member of Congress this week in addition to peppering the TV commercial sites with that annoying commercial. It got my attention.
As annoying as that commercial is, it caught my attention as I am sure it caught yours. Congress does need to listen up. Why on earth to we want to weaken the Clean Air Act? If nothing else, it should be strengthened. Remember our athletes getting off the plane in Beijing? They had to wear masks. Many other countries have terrible air quality that endangers the lives of residents daily.
Most members of Congress don’t have the scientific background to know good air from bad. They will block vote to appease their constituents and tell them all that they are growing the economy or saving jobs. I would like to keep important decisions like clean air in the hands of the experts, not the politicians.
I have enough problems in this department personally as it is without entrusting my ability to breathe on some stupid congressman who wants to good old boy with his base.