Leading Health Groups Oppose Upton's Proposal to Block EPA

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton is ignoring Americans' support for the health protections from pollution and pushing a proposal that would allow power plants and other big plants to dump unlimited amounts of dangerous carbon pollution into our air. As I mentioned earlier this week, the nation's leading public health experts and organizations recognize carbon and other greenhouse pollution as a serious health threat.

That's why health groups have wasted no time in slamming Chairman Upton's bill. Here are some of the statements I've found today:

American Lung Association:

“The enactment of Chairman Fred Upton's bill would strip away Clean Air Act protections that safeguard Americans and their families from air pollution that puts their lives at risk. The protections against the health harm from carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas pollution are essential to public health and must be preserved.” - Charles D. Connor, President and Chief Executive Officer

American Public Health Association:

“The public health community is very concerned about the long-term health consequences of global climate change…Blocking EPA’s authority to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases could mean the difference between chronic debilitating illness or a healthy life for countless Americans.” - Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), Executive Director

Trust for America’s Health:

“TFAH is incredibly concerned that the proposed legislation will eliminate current protective measures that address the health impact of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas pollution…The science says carbon pollution is bad for our health.  Rolling back EPA’s ability to protect the public from this threat literally has life and death stakes.” - Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director

Health Care Without Harm:

“Failure to allow the EPA to safeguard our air directly threatens thousands of people with asthma and other chronic illnesses, including children.  With one out of 10 children in the United States affected by asthma, we don’t have to look farther than our own neighborhoods to see the suffering and actual risk to life caused by polluted air.  Nothing could instill fear in a parent like a child unable to breathe.” - Gary Cohen, President 

“Nurses understand and have seen first-hand in our nation’s emergency rooms, hospitals, and communities the devastation caused by air pollution. The public’s health should not suffer while members of Congress put corporate profits ahead of the public’s health.” - Brenda Afzal, MS, RN, Climate Policy Director 

Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments:

“We express our profound distress about the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s legislation that would limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to set clean air standards to reduce air pollutants under the Clean Air Act.   

The broader health implications of blocking clean air standards for green house gas emissions include respiratory diseases such as asthma, allergies, cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke, heat related morbidity and mortality, mental health stress, neurological diseases, vector and water borne diseases, and weather borne morbidity and mortality...Our policy makers must understand that any bill that prevents the EPA from doing its job of protecting our air and water and through the Clean Air Act is a threat to public health and an additional cost that America’s health cannot afford.” - Barbara Sattler, RN, Dr.PH, FAAN.

UPDATE: American Thoracic Society

”The legislation proposed by Rep. Upton and Sen. Inhofe would allow polluters to emit unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the environment. The legislation introduced today ... undermines protection of nation’s clean air and continues to leave the United States vulnerable to the adverse health effects of climate change. This legislation would encourage polluters to emit carbon pollution into the air that adversely affects public health and increases global warming.” - Dean E. Schraufnagel, MD, President


UPDATE: The Hill is reporting "Public health groups launching campaign to defend EPA climate rules."