Your View: Scott Brown takes sides with polluters

Brown was the only Republican to vote not once but twice against the health of the people of Massachuset

05-13-2011 // Carol Oldham

This excerpt is from a South Coast Today op-ed, written by NWF's Carol Oldham

Factory smoke stacks

Last month's failure in the U.S. Senate to pass four extraneous amendments to gut clean air protections is welcomed by all who want healthy air. Unfortunately, Sen. Scott Brown voted not once but twice against clean air, voting for both the McConnell and the Rockefeller amendments. In his votes Senator Brown sided with the polluters and not with the people of Massachusetts.

Brown was the only Republican to vote not once but twice against the health of the people of Massachusetts, approving of both EPA-crippling bills.

This amounts to an unfortunate prelude to more battles ahead as polluters intensify their lobbying to weaken and dismantle clean air protections. Not least of these battles is the politicizing of the budget process with polluters and their allies in Congress demanding anti-EPA riders that have drawn condemnation from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama.

Polls consistently confirm that the public supports limits on pollution. A February poll found that three out of four people support the EPA's setting more stringent limits on pollutants like mercury, smog and carbon dioxide, and people support higher fuel-efficiency rules for heavy-duty trucks.

Nearly 500 health organizations from all 50 states and D.C. called on Congress on April 4 to reject congressional efforts to disable the EPA, saying that enabling the EPA to do its job "is quite literally a matter of life and death for tens of thousands of people and will mean the difference between chronic debilitating illness or a healthy life for hundreds of thousands more."

Clean Air Act
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