Last week, President Obama and the US House and Senate reached a budget agreement that averted a government shutdown while defeating an effort from Big Coal and Oil to strip the EPA and Clean Air Act’s ability to protect public health. Earlier in the week, the U.S. Senate beat back multiple assaults on the Clean Air Act and attempts to handcuff the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to protect Americans from toxic pollution. The most egregious of these attacks, offered by Senator McConnell, would permanently remove EPA authority over GHG emissions and weaken fuel economy standards, failed 50 to 50 — 60 votes were required for passage. Both Senators Franken and Klobuchar voted no on the bill. Senator Klobuchar waivered in her commitment to the Clean Air Act by voting for the Stabenow/Brown amendment to block EPA authority for two years and Baucus amendment which needlessly limited the facilities impacted by EPA’s permitting authority for global warming pollution. Senator Franken was a champion for the Clean Air Act voting against each of the four attacks it faced in the Senate.
States weighed in on the debate over the Clean Air Act. Governor Dayton, and 11 other governors, called on Congress to oppose attempts to weaken the Clean Air Act and EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases, specifically Upton’s “Dirty Air Act” in the House.
Excerpt from the letter:
You can read the whole letter online.
Despite the letter from the Governors, the U.S. House voted 254-172 to gut essential health protections in the Clean Air Act and abolish the EPA’s ability to protect the public from life-threatening pollution. The Sierra Club is deeply disappointed in those that voted against the interest of their constituents and for the corporate polluter agenda. In Minnesota the following supported the “Dirty Air Act”: Rep. Michele Bachmann, Rep. Chip Cravaack, Rep. John Kline, Rep. Erik Paulsen and Rep. Collin Peterson.
We applaud Reps. Walz, McCollum and Ellison for standing up to polluters and voting to maintain the EPA’s ability to protect against dangerous carbon pollution and hold big polluters accountable for the damage they do to the public health of Americans.