House votes to gut clean air protections

June 21, 2012
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396,

“Today the House continued its long-running assault on clean air by passing H.R. 4480, the Strategic Energy Production Act of 2012. This name is a misnomer – there is nothing strategic about gutting common-sense clean air protections. In fact, it would be more honest if this bill were named the Gutting Air Standard Protections Act (GASP), because it undermines vital protections for our children’s health.
“The GASP Act jeopardizes public health in America. This bill won’t help our economy, won’t create jobs, and won’t lower our summer gas prices – but it will harm the health of our kids.
“The GASP Act passed today includes provisions that would change how we set health standards for smog, and also delays new standards that would cut sulfur pollution from gasoline. Instead of basing clean air standards solely on the best available health science, the bill forces the Environmental Protection Agency to focus on corporate profits instead. It’s a move that overturns the basis of 40 years of clean air protections in America.
“The Clean Air Act already factors in cost and feasibility when implementing the pollution control strategies that protect our air. Stronger sulfur pollution standards alone would provide huge economic benefits — up to $6 billion and the creation of almost 30,000 jobs. That’s why they’re supported by a broad coalition of industry groups, along with health and environmental advocates.
“The Clean Air Act has been incredibly successful for decades. Keeping a strong, health and science-based standard for clean air regulations will save thousands of American lives and prevent tens of thousands of asthma attacks every year. By undermining that, the GASP Act puts us all at risk.”

• Mandy Warner, Climate and Air Policy Specialist for Environmental Defense Fund

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