Holden's Constituents Come Out for Clean Air

Remember how Pennsylvania Representative Tim Holden (PA-17) kept voting against clean air measures this year, and NRDC ran tv ads taking him to task for doing so?

Recently, Holden's own constituents - including members of NRDC and Pennsylvania's Clean Air Council - came out to his district office to let him know they aren't pleased either. Here's the video:


So what are the dirty air votes Holden has cast and that has his constituents out in the street? Here's his 'rap sheet' from just this year:

  • October: Holden votes to prevent cleanup of toxic pollution from incinerators and industrial boilers. Holden voted for H.R. 2250, which repeals and weakens Clean Air Act safeguards slated to reduce mercury, toxic metals, acid gases and other hazardous air pollution from incinerators and other industrial polluters. The bill Holden supported also repeals Clean Air Act compliance deadlines for these life-saving standards, meaning companies’ compliance with any future toxic air pollution standards could be delayed indefinitely.

    Health impact: Up to 22,750 deaths, during just the bill’s minimum period blocking safeguards. 
  • October: Holden Voted for the TRAIN Act, Which Would Block Life- Saving Clean Air Act Standards For Power Plants. This bill would repeal or block two critical Clean Air Act standards (Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for power plants and the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule) that limit soot, smog, mercury and other toxic pollutants like arsenic, dioxin, and formaldehyde from power plants.  The bills eliminate any actual deadlines for EPA to re-issue health standards, allowing these life-saving standards to be blocked indefinitely– effectively repealing clean air safeguards that would prevent thousands of deaths and illnesses. Finally, the bills eviscerate the legal authority for EPA to re-issue protective standards. 

    Health impact: 139,500 deaths, 66,000 hospital visits, and 1 million asthma attacks over the next seven years – and over 25,000 additional deaths every year after.
  • February: Holden voted to block EPA from cleaning up cement plants. Holden voted for an amendment that would prevent EPA from using any funds to implement standards that are already on the books to control smog, soot, mercury and other toxic air pollution emitted by cement plants—some of the worst industrial polluters of any kind. 

    These plants dump mercury pollution and other hazardous air pollutants into the air we breathe and the water we drink.   Cement plants are also a significant source of nitrogen oxide pollution, which are associated with a variety of health problems and adversely affect people with lung diseases such as asthma. 

    Rep Holden claims he’s just trying to “slow-down” health protections, but its hard to see how he justifies this considering the amendment’s own sponsor, Texas Rep John Carter, described the measure this way: “Carter’s Amendment 165 blocking proposed new rules against the Portland cement industry.”

    Health impact: 2,500 lives per year.
  • February: Holden voted to block the EPA from updating clean air standards and to protect public health from carbon pollution.  Holden voted for H.R. 910, which would gut the Clean Air Act and completely block work already underway by the EPA to set standards for carbon pollution that will clean up our air, make cars go further on a gallon of gas and protect public health. According to a letter from leading health groups including the American Lung Association and the American Public Health Association, “[t]his legislation would interfere with EPA’s ability to implement the Clean Air Act; a law that protects the public health and reduces health care costs for all by preventing thousands of adverse health outcomes, including: cancer, asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes, emergency department visits, hospitalization and premature deaths. … H.R. 910 would strip away sensible Clean Air Act protections that safeguard Americans and their families from air pollution.” 

    Health impact: Incalculable.

Want to get Rep Holden to start voting to protect kids' health? Share this video and give his office a call (202) 225-5546.

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