Senate Rejects Clean Air Rollback; But House Continues Assault on Environment

NRDC: “Bipartisan Senate Vote Is a Victory for Health, Clean Air and Common Sense”

WASHINGTON (June 20, 2012) – The Senate today stood up for Americans’ health by rejecting Sen. James Inhofe’s, R-Okla., effort to repeal the Environmental Protection Agency’s life-saving Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for power plants.

“Today’s bipartisan Senate vote is a victory for health, clean air and common sense,” said John Walke, clean air director at the Natural Resources Defense Council.  “Despite fear mongering by the coal industry, some utilities and their allies, the Senate has rejected an irresponsible effort to repeal mercury and air toxics protections that are backed by science and required by law. The House Republican Leadership should take note and cease its efforts to undermine the Clean Air Act; efforts the public does not support.”

The Senate vote comes as the House is poised to take up a bill today that would eliminate the requirement that smog standards be based solely on health effects while also delaying other clean air standards.  House bill H.R. 4480, the misnamed Domestic Energy and Jobs Act, would mandate that one quarter of eligible federal lands be leased for oil drilling each year and would make it more difficult to challenge oil leases and permits. The House could vote on the bill as early as today or on Thursday. The White House said Tuesday it would veto this bill.