Obama "Strongly Opposes" Bill to Stop the EPA from Reducing Carbon Pollution

The White House announced yesterday that President Obama "strongly opposes" Representative Fred Upton's bill to block the EPA from reducing greenhouse gases. The House and the Senate are scheduled to vote on several measures to block carbon limits as early as this afternoon.

Yesterday, the Office of Management and Budget issued a statement regarding the Upton bill, saying:

"If the President is presented with this legislation, which would seriously roll back the CAA authority, harm Americans' health by taking away our ability to decrease carbon pollution, and undercut fuel efficiency standards that will save Americans money at the pump while decreasing our dependence on oil, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill."

This is the kind of leadership we need right now. Measures like these—that deny climate change or delay America’s response to this urgent threat—do not belong in the clean energy future that President Obama laid out in his speech at Georgetown last week.

It’s time to take America forward into the 21st century, not backward.

Yet polluters and their allies in Congress not only want to paralyze efforts to confront climate change, but they also want to undermine one of our nation’s most effective public health and environmental laws: the Clean Air Act.

This law saves 160,000 Americans from premature death every year.

Since Congress passed it in 1970, the EPA has been required to reduce air pollution that endangers our health and the environment. The agency has done this job for 40 years, successfully reducing lead from gasoline, phasing out ozone-depleting chemicals, and slashing pollutants that cause acid rain.

In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that the Clean Air Act unambiguously covers all air pollutants, including carbon dioxide pollution. In an interview in Time this week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson was asked the question: Why should the EPA regulate carbon?

Jackson answered: “Because it's the law. The Clean Air Act and Supreme Court cases have said the EPA must determine whether greenhouse gases endanger public health. We have determined based on multiple lines of scientific evidence that they do.”

Rather than seeking to stymie the EPA, our elected officials should respect the law and stand up for clean air and the health of our families.

The White House has taken that stand and sent the right message to lawmakers. Now we need our lawmakers to oppose such measures and prevent them from getting to the president’s desk in the first place.

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