Historic Senate Vote Supports Clean Air and Water

CRA resolution would have permanently prevented national standards for mercury and air toxics

06-20-2012 // Tony Iallonardo

Senator James Inhofe demanded a vote today to overrule historic safeguards championed by the Environmental Protection Agency that would greatly reduce mercury and other air toxic pollution. Inhofe’s bill, SJ Res 37, was defeated by a vote of 46-53.

SJ Res 37 was brought to the Senate floor using the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The CRA is a rarely used measure because it can permanently block action of major national importance. NWF has said the Inhofe CRA resolution is a wrecking ball that would permanently prevent national standards for mercury and air toxics. The new mercury limits were decades in the making, and heavily supported by public health professionals, sportsmen, and conservation groups. It is expected to save thousands of lives while improving wildlife habitat and creating jobs.  

Larry Schweiger, NWF president and CEO said:

"The Senate today stood up for clean air and safe water, clearing the final hurdle for the Environmental Protection Agency to do its job and safeguard our air and waters from toxic smokestack pollution. With support from more than 900,000 Americans, EPA is taking common-sense action to keep mercury and other toxics out of our air and out of our water. We can and must do a better job protecting our rivers, streams and lakes from mercury that makes the fish we catch unsafe to eat.” 

The measure is also a job engine, expected to foster 46,000 construction jobs and 8,000 utility jobs as plants upgrade to cleaner technologies.

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