House bill puts Americans’ health at risk from dangerous air pollution

Statement of EDF on passage today of HR 3409

September 21, 2012
Contact: 
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – September 21, 2102) “Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill (HR 3409) that puts all Americans at risk from dangerous air pollution, using deceptive claims about the economic impact of strong health protections. America truly deserves better.

“The Clean Air Act protections under attack from this bill will prevent thousands of premature deaths each year, and prevent more than a hundred thousand asthma attacks and other serious breathing problems each year. This bill would block recently finalized federal standards to protect our children from mercury and other toxic pollution from power plants; it would block popular new fuel efficiency standards for cars that will save American families thousands of dollars in gas money and dramatically cut foreign oil imports; and it would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from doing anything to limit climate pollution from cars, power plants, and other major sources. The bill would put our ability to make sure all Americans can breathe clean air and maintain a safe and healthy environment at risk.

“Supporters in Congress tried to cloak this bill as a way to protect jobs in the coal industry, even though the coal industry is under stress mainly because of competitive pressures from low-priced natural gas. Using coal jobs as an excuse to gut many of our clean air protections is a not in the interest of individual states or the country as a whole.

The bill has little chance of passing the Senate or surviving a threatened Presidential veto, but we’re still disappointed by the actions of the House today.”

  --  Steve Cochran, Vice President of Climate and Air for Environmental Defense Fund  

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