In April 2007, a Supreme Court decision, Massachusetts vs. EPA, concluded that the EPA has the authority and obligation to regulate CO2 and other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. This ruling prompted a public comment period and resulted in December 2009’s finding that confirmed greenhouse gases do, in fact, endanger public health and welfare. While the findings themselves do not impose emission reductions, they permit EPA to finalize emission reduction standards proposed earlier this year for vehicles and set the stage for standards to regulate for stationary sources in time using the Clear Air Act.
Sen. Murkowski’s attack on the Clean Air Act would be a free pass for the nation’s largest polluters to continue polluting and endangering public health. Senators who support this backward-looking “Dirty Air Act” would be undermining President Obama’s efforts to embrace a clean energy economy by locking us into decades more of dirty energy sources with their negative economic and health consequences. A vote in favor of this amendment will set a dangerous precedent by negating the well-tested programs of the Clean Air Act.
Instead of working to gut the Clean Air Act, Senators should be actively drafting legislation to complement and strengthen protections for our health and to jumpstart a clean energy economy.
SACE’s national ally, 1Sky, is hosting a call-in day on Tuesday, January 12 so that concerned citizens can urge their senators to vote NO on Senator Murkowski’s amendment and to show leadership in seeking legislative solutions to climate change. I hope you’ll join Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and 1Sky to defeat this ill-advised amendment so we can refocus all efforts on advocating for meaningful climate solutions.