WASHINGTON (Sept. 21, 2011) – The House Energy and Commerce Committee today approved two bills designed to thwart health protections for all Americans. Both measures are part of Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s Tea Party agenda to bring anti-environmental bills to the House floor this fall.
``This is only the tip of the spear in an all-out assault on our health and the environment,’’ said Franz Matzner, NRDC’s climate and legislative director. ``There’s more on the way, and they all must be stopped. Lives are at stake.’’
The next dirty, potentially deadly salvo will come on Friday, when the full House is scheduled to vote on the TRAIN Act, another Tea Party-backed bill that would indefinitely block the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing strong anti-pollution safeguards, as well as on an amendment that would effectively gut the landmark Clean Air Act.
One of the bills approved today by the Energy and Commerce Committee would block clean-up of toxic air pollution from industrial boilers and incinerators—a standard that EPA has not even issued as yet. These plants spew mercury as well as such cancer-causing agents as dioxins and if adopted, the measure would lead to more asthma attacks, more illnesses, and avoidable deaths.
The second bill would block clean-up of toxic air pollution from cement plants and gives such facilities a free pass to continue spewing smog and soot pollution into the air we breathe. Cement plants emit mercury, which harms children’s developing brains. Toxic air pollution standards for cement plants went into effect in September 2010. These standards are already 13 years overdue.