Washington, DC - Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and other EPW Committee members released the following statement in response to a proposed bill released today by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) in the Senate and Representatives Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ed Whitfield (R-KY) in the House that would undermine our protections from carbon pollution under the Clean Air Act:
Senator Boxer said: "Bipartisan environmental laws are now under attack. EPA's common-sense steps to address carbon pollution follow the law and the Supreme Court decision that the agency must consider this threat. Congress should not turn its back on the American people by prohibiting EPA from doing its job to address carbon pollution."
Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) said: "These attacks on the Clean Air Act will only take us backwards to a time when big polluters dirtied our air with impunity and hurt the health of our children. If Republicans want to tear down the progress we have made to make air cleaner in America, they're going to get a fight from those of us who are committed to the public health of our communities."
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) said: "The facts are simple: EPA's work to protect human health and the environment through the Clean Air Act has saved hundreds of thousands of lives and provided literally trillions of dollars in health benefits. It also has helped generate billions of dollars in revenues for American environmental businesses and exports that support 1.6 million American jobs. Legislation to stop EPA from doing its job under the Clean Air Act is misguided and must not move forward."
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said: "As Chairman of the Green Jobs Subcommittee, I believe the American people want Congress to protect our families from pollution and create jobs in sustainable energy. As this legislation makes clear, however, Republican leaders in the House and Senate think we should be bailing out big polluters by exempting them from Clean Air Act standards. I will vigorously oppose this and other efforts to gut our nation's clean air health standards."
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said: "These short-sighted attempts to roll back EPA's authority to protect air quality will do harm to clean energy jobs, energy efficiency, and our children's health. We should be working to stimulate our clean energy economy and protect public health, not protecting polluters."
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) said: "This bill goes way too far by undermining the Clean Air Act and putting politics over public health. The Supreme Court and the best climate science - some of which comes from New Mexico's national labs - compelled the Environmental Protection Agency to act and protect health and welfare of our citizens. EPA oversight is an important responsibility and I will continue to evaluate the impact of the agency's performance."
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said: "We need strong protections for the air we breathe and the water we drink. This extreme attack on the Clean Air Act protects polluters, while putting our health at risk. At a critical time when we need to be addressing climate change and impacts on public health, this assault on our environmental protections takes us in the wrong direction."