Meet the Senators Who Voted Themselves Into the Mercury & Toxic Air Pollution Hall of Shame or Fame

Today, 53 Senators stood up for clean air and healthy kids when they voted to reject Senator Jim Inhofe’s (R-OK) Congressional Review Act (CRA) legislation [pdf] to eliminate EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) for power plants. In a 53-46 vote against Inhofe's measure, the U.S. Senate championed healthy air, healthy kids, and common-sense lawmaking.

However, too many Senators put dirty power companies’ interests above the health of their constituents, condemning the families and communities in their states to more toxic air pollution, more smog, and more soot.

It’s appalling that anyone would vote to expose our children to more mercury, a dangerous brain poison, and over 80 other toxic air pollutants that power plants in the U.S. spew every day.

National limits on toxic air pollution such as mercury, lead, arsenic, acid gases and cancer-causing dioxins from power plants are more than a decade overdue. EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) will reduce emissions of mercury—a dangerous neurotoxin that harms children’s developing brains and nervous systems—by 90%. The health standards also will limit emissions of other air toxins that are known or suspected carcinogens.

The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards are projected every year to prevent up to:

  • 11,000 premature deaths;
  • nearly 5,000 heart attacks;
  • 130,000 asthma attacks;
  • 5,700 hospital and emergency room visits; and
  • 540,000 days when people miss work and school

So, here are the Senators who joined the mercury and toxic pollution hall of shame by voting to abolish life-saving mercury and toxic air pollution standards:

  • John Barrasso (R-WY)
  • Roy Blunt (R-MO)
  • John Boozman (R-AR)
  • Richard Burr (R-NC)
  • Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
  • Dan Coats (R-IN)
  • Thomas Coburn (R-OK)
  • Thad Cochran (R-MS)
  • Bob Corker (R-TN)
  • John Cornyn (R-TX)
  • Michael Crapo (R-ID)
  • Jim DeMint (R-SC)
  • Michael Enzi (R-WY)
  • Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
  • Charles Grassley (R-IA)
  • Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
  • Dean Heller (R-NV)
  • John Hoeven (R-ND)
  • Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)
  • James Inhofe (R-OK)
  • Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
  • Mike Johanns (R-NE)
  • Ron Johnson (R-WI)
  • Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
  • Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
  • Michael Lee (R-UT)
  • Richard Lugar (R-IN)
  • Joe Manchin (D-WV)
  • John McCain (R-AZ)
  • Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
  • Jerry Moran (R-KS)
  • Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
  • Ben Nelson (D-NE)
  • Rand Paul (R-KY)
  • Rob Portman (R-OH)
  • James Risch (R-ID)
  • Pat Roberts (R-KS)
  • Marco Rubio (R-FL)
  • Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
  • Richard Shelby (R-AL)
  • John Thune (R-SD)
  • Pat Toomey (R-PA)
  • David Vitter (R-LA)
  • Mark Warner (D-VA)
  • Jim Webb (D-VA)
  • Roger Wicker (R-MS)

And here are the Senators who stood up for cleaner air and healthier kids and communities:

  • Daniel  Akaka (D-HI)
  • Lamar Alexander(R-TN)
  • Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
  • Max Baucus (D-MT)
  • Mark Begich (D-AK)
  • Michael Bennet(D-CO)
  • Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
  • Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
  • Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
  • Scott Brown (R-MA)
  • Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
  • Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
  • Benjamin Cardin (D-MD)
  • Thomas Carper (D-DE)
  • Robert Casey (D-PA)
  • Susan Collins (R-ME)
  • Kent Conrad (D-ND)
  • Christopher Coons (D-DE)
  • Richard Durbin (D-IL)
  • Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
  • Al Franken (D-MN)
  • Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
  • Kay Hagan (D-NC)
  • Tom Harkin (D-IA)
  • Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
  • Tim Johnson (D-SD)
  • John Kerry (D-MA)
  • Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
  • Herbert Kohl (D-WI)
  • Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
  • Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
  • Carl Levin (D-MI)
  • Joe Lieberman (I-CT)
  • Clarie McCaskill (D-MO)
  • Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
  • Jeffrey Merkley (D-OR)
  • Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
  • Parry Murray (D-WA)
  • Bill Nelson (D-FL)
  • Mark Pryor (D-AR)
  • Jack Reed (D-RI)
  • Harry Reid (D-NV)
  • John Rockefeller (D-WV)
  • Bernard Sanders (I-VT)
  • Charles Schumer (D-NY)
  • Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
  • Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
  • Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
  • Jon Tester (D-MT)
  • Mark Udall (D-CO)
  • Tom Udall (D-NM)
  • Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
  • Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Please call your Senators and thank those that voted to uphold clean air health safeguards for all Americans, while telling those that voted to eliminate those protections why their votes were so irresponsible.

About the Authors

John Walke

Director, Clean Air Project, Climate & Clean Air program

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