GOP Launches “Brazen Bid” to Give Polluters Free Rein
WASHINGTON (March 24, 2015) – Congressional Republicans are proposing a bill and an amendment this week that would allow states to opt-out of the Obama Administration's pioneering plan to curb carbon pollution from our power plants. The budget amendment by Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and bill by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) strike at the heart of the federal Clean Air Act by letting each state simply walk away from such national clean air requirements, giving big polluters free rein to foul the air.
The following is a statement from David Doniger, director of the Climate and Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council:
“This is the new Congress’s most dangerous and brazen bid to carry out the big polluters’ agenda, which includes derailing crucial action on climate change. It would make national clean air requirements merely optional, at the whim of each state. It would force us back to the dark days half a century ago when powerful polluters had free rein to poison our air, because states were unwilling or unable to protect their citizens.
“The Clean Air Act works because it protects all Americans, regardless where they live. Air pollution doesn’t stop at state boundaries, so if one state becomes a haven for the biggest polluters, Americans in other states suffer. And even the most well-meaning states lose leverage over their own polluters when the rules are weaker in other states. That’s why these unprecedented measures are such a dangerous threat to Americans’ health and their environment.”