Shock and Awe: House votes to eviscerate 40 years of bipartisan environmental safeguards

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 02/24/2011 - 10:30.

From the Environmental Defense Fund:

Shock and Awe: House votes to eviscerate 40 years of bipartisan environmental safeguards.
Fight moves to the Senate next week.

Please email your Senators today urging them to reject the polluter assault on our clean air and climate future.

Dear Friend,

You're going to breathe dangerous air, drink dirty water, be exposed to toxic pollution… And you're going to like it.

Oh, and you can forget about a safer climate future.

That is the message the U.S. House of Representatives is trying to shove down our throats after an unprecedented assault on America's landmark environmental protections last week.

The scope and scale of the assault is truly breathtaking – figuratively and literally.

With no fewer than 14 polluter provisions that take direct aim at clean air and clean water standards, the House bill wouldn't so much chip away at the foundation of our environmental safeguards as it would blast the foundation to pieces.

The attacks range from the merely petty: blocking EPA's popular energy-saving ENERGY STAR consumer programs ...

To the truly dangerous: blocking EPA from protecting Americans from toxic air pollution ...

To the downright loony: blocking NOAA from more efficiently examining the possible impacts of climate change on the American people.

For more information, here is a great blog post by Steve Cochran, EDF's Vice President for Climate and Air.

And, here is a detailed breakdown of the 14 House-passed polluter provisions [PDF]. (WARNING: You’re going to want to sit down).

The Fight in the Senate

These cuts to critical environmental protections are part of a broader political fight over the budget deficit, and next week the Senate will begin its own work on the 2011 spending bill.

Thankfully, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has already signaled that the House bill will be dead on arrival.

But, as the House and Senate begin their high stakes budget negotiations, we cannot afford to risk Congress sacrificing our clean air, our clean water, our public health, and our climate future for the expedience of political compromise.

Please take action now: Email your Senators to let them know you will not stand for these outrageous polluter assaults on our common sense environmental and public health standards.

The EPA is the LAST defense against polluters. We have a tough road ahead, but with your help and the power of our online members and activists, we're fighting back with everything we have.

You can stay informed on this and all the disgraceful assaults on the EPA by visiting Clear The Air and joining the conversation on Facebook. We'll of course continue to send you updates via email as well.

Thank you for your continued commitment to protecting our climate, our health, and the health of future generations.

Sam Parry
Director, Online Membership and Activism

P.S. Did you know that air pollution triggers more heart attacks than physical exertion, alcohol, and cocaine?  So says a new study out of Great Britain. We need a war on pollution, not a polluter assault on the EPA.