Senator Tom Carper Statement
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing entitled,
“Oversight: Review Of EPA Regulations Replacing The Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) And The Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR)”
June 30, 2011
Since coming to the U.S. Senate a decade ago, I have made it my mission to work with my colleagues to ensure that EPA has the right tools to clean our air.
As some of you know, I have worked diligently across the aisle on clean air legislation to reduce deadly emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury and other air toxics in our country.
Often times, I’m asked why I am so passionate about clean air. Well here are a few reasons.
First, I believe we ought to treat other people the way we’d want them to treat us.
As many of you know, air pollution knows no state boundary.
As Governor of Delaware in the 1990’s, I quickly realized that one state could do everything in its power to reduce its air pollution, but could still find itself with dirty air because of bad neighbors.
Many of you have heard me say that Delaware is at the tailpipe of America. In fact, our Secretary of Natural Resources, Colin O’Mara who is here today, has said up to 90% of Delaware’s pollution comes from other states.
As Governor, I could have shut down EVERY SOURCE OF POLLUTION IN THE STATE, and DELAWARE would still have been in nonattainment.
As Governor, I quickly learned that my neighbor’s dirty air meant higher health care costs for my state.
My neighbor’s dirty air meant difficulty attracting businesses to my state. And, my neighbor’s dirty air meant WE were paying the full price of their dirty energy.
That’s when I realized we had to have a national solution to address our air quality problems.
States cannot do it alone. We’re all in this together. We’ve got to work together, and we need to work with the EPA to continue cleaning up our air.
Second, I believe it’s critical for us to achieve better health care results in America for less money.
Over the 1990 to 2020 time period, the EPA estimates that our country will see over $12 trillion in health and economic benefits– in the form of longer lives, healthier kids, and greater workforce productivity –from the Clean Air Act. The Clean Air Act benefits outweigh the costs – 30 to 1. That’s a pretty big bang for the buck!
Although we’ve made great strides in reducing our nation's air pollution, more must be done if we want to protect our children and compete in the emerging global clean energy economy.
Today, we discuss two new clean air regulations – the Clean Air Transport Rule and the Utility Air Toxics Rule.
These regulations target our largest emitters of many known toxics that cause cancer, brain defects and respiratory stress - fossil-fuel fired power plants.
These toxic pollutants know no state boundary and send thousands of our children to the hospital everyday and contribute to shorter life spans for thousands every year.
Just one of these rules – the air toxics regulation – we could see $13 in benefits for every $1 we spend in compliance. Again getting greater health care results for less money.
And as we will hear today, these regulations are long overdue, addressing pollution that should have been cleaned up decades ago.
We will also hear today that we have the technology to meet these new standards, and many states, like Delaware, have successfully implemented similar measures.
I look forward to hearing testimony on these important regulations and look forward to working with the Administration and my colleagues to ensure we have clean air.