Health Orgs to Congress: leave the Clean Air Act alone!

(download the letter here)
 
Health organizations, and the American people, tell Congress to stop legislating science and stop weakening one of the preeminent public health laws in the U.S.
 
March 30, 2011
 
Dear Senator:
Our organizations have written to you recently on legislation impacting the Clean Air Act. Today we write to express our opposition to the amendments that will come before the full U.S. Senate in the very near future.
 
We oppose:
1. Amendment No. 183 by Senator McConnell;
2. Amendment No. 215 by Senator Rockefeller;
3. Amendment No. 236 by Senator Baucus; and,
4. Amendment No. 265 by Senator Stabenow
 
By blocking the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) authority to update clean air standards, each of the above amendments, in its own way, will weaken the Clean Air Act.
 
If passed by Congress, these amendments would interfere with EPA’s ability to implement the Clean Air Act; a law that protects public health and reduces health care costs for all by preventing thousands of adverse health outcomes, including: cancer, asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes, emergency department visits, hospitalizations and premature deaths.
 
Additionally, the public strongly opposes Congress blocking EPA's efforts to implement the Clean Air Act. A recent bipartisan survey, which was conducted for the American Lung Association by the Republican firm Ayres, McHenry & Associates and the Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, indicates the overwhelming view of voters:
 
·         69 percent think the EPA should update Clean Air Act standards with stricter limits on air
·         pollution;
·         64 percent feel that Congress should not stop the EPA from updating carbon dioxide emission standards;
·         69 percent believe that EPA scientists, rather than Congress, should set pollution standards.
 
The above amendments would strip away sensible Clean Air Act protections that safeguard Americans and their families from air pollution. We strongly urge the Senate to support the continued implementation of this vital law.
 
Charles Connor
President and Chief Executive Officer
American Lung Association
 
Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E)
Executive Director
American Public Health Association
 
Dean E. Schraufnagel MD
President
American Thoracic Society
 
Bill McLin
President and CEO
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
 
Peter Wilk, MD
Executive Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility
 
Jeffrey Levi, PhD.
Executive Director
Trust for America’s Health
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