Upton, Inhofe Offer Parade of Polluter Loopholes

Bills Would Undo Clean Air Protections Even as Study Shows Clean Air Act Brings Great Benefits to Americans

03-03-2011 // Tony Iallonardo
Factory smoke stacks
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) are introducing legislation today that undercuts the ability of the U.S. EPA to protect public health from harmful carbon pollution.  

The bills come on the same week a federal study found the Clean Air Act has been highly effective and provided benefits far in excess of cost for all Americans and the environment. NWF lauded the findings that showed cleaning our air has contributed to the nation’s economic well being.

After comparing investments in reducing air pollution to the returns generated over the last 30 years, the Environmental Protection Agency found that the economy as a whole is far better off that it would have been without the Clean Air Act programs. For the first time, this study looks at a broader set of economic benefits resulting from the Act, including how the law has reduced household medical expenses and led to fewer lost work days. The report provides the most complete picture to date on how reducing air pollution affects our overall economic well-being.

Joe Mendelson, global warming policy director of the National Wildlife Federation said the bills pose a risk to public and would damage our national efforts to spur clean energy.

“Rep. Upton and Sen. Inhofe have introduced the latest in a parade of polluter loopholes to roll back America’s bedrock environmental laws. Congress should reject the premise that our kids need to breathe polluted air and drink toxic water in order for our economy to prosper,” Mendelson said.

Recent polls show Americans have little appetite for attacks on Clean air and they prefer Congress to put forward solutions that create jobs, protect public health and position our nation as a global leader in the clean energy economy.

“Americans want common-sense steps to strengthen our energy security and clean up our air. They don’t want special favors for polluters that put our health at risk,” Mendelson also said.

Clean Air Act Resources
  • Learn more about the Clean Air Act, one of our nation's most effective and beneficial public health laws.
  • Stay up to speed on the latest NWF Clean Air Act news and views on our Clean Air Act blog page.
  • Even as Alaska’s polar bears drown and starve from their sea ice melting, polluter lobbyists are attacking the Clean Air Act's ability to limit global warming pollution. Take action for polar bears.

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