WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Environmental and public health activists joined U.S. Sen. Jim Jeffords, I – Vt., at a rally on Capitol Hill today in support of a clean air amendment to the Senate Energy Bill. Jeffords is the ranking member of the Senate Environment Committee. “It is time to signal to the rest of the world that America takes all of our global responsibilities seriously,” said Jeffords. On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate is expected to hold what could be the key environmental vote of the year, when it considers an amendment co-sponsored by Jeffords, to stop the federal government from forcing states to adopt weaker clean air laws. The amendment deals with controversial changes to the key Clean Air Act provision called “new source review.” A previous amendment on the same issue in January received 46 votes, with four likely “yes” votes absent; had they been present, the vote would have been 50-50. The Senate is also expected to vote on an amendment that would require reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preventing dangerous global warming. Jeffords continued, “This should be an area where we can all agree on the need for progress. Unfortunately, on environmental issues our President is moving us backward instead of leading us forward.”