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Do We Have Too Much Clean Air? Why else would Congress threaten to weaken the clean air standards that protect our health? Thursday, July 21, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Do We Have Too Much Clean Air? Why else would Congress threaten to weaken the clean air standards that protect our health? Thursday, July 21, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Do We Have Too Much Clean Air? Why else would Congress threaten to weaken the clean air standards that protect our health? Thursday, July 21, 2011

2 History of the Clean Air Act Initially enacted in 1970 to enforce clean air standards, has contributed to an improvement in human health and longer life spans Amendments in 1990 provided the legal authority for federal programs regarding air pollution control

3 The Clean Air Act: Protecting Our Families and the Air We Breathe March 1, 2011 Environmental Protection Agency releases comprehensive report Comprehensive, updated, and peer-reviewed information on the Act’s costs and benefits from Clear conclusion: the Clean Air Act has been an incredible investment for America

4 The Clean Air Act: Protecting Our Families and the Air We Breathe Direct benefits of the Clean Air Act – in the form of cleaner air and healthier, more productive Americans – are estimated to reach nearly $2 trillion in the year 2020, exceeding the costs by a factor of more than 30 to one.

5 The Clean Air Act: Protecting Our Families and the Air We Breathe According to the report, in 2010 alone, the reductions in fine particle and ozone pollution from the Clean Air Act prevented more than: 160,000 premature deaths 130,000 heart attacks 13 million lost work days 1.7 million asthma attacks

6 The Clean Air Act: Protecting Our Families and the Air We Breathe The report puts to rest the old argument that we can’t have a healthy economy and a healthy environment – and serves as an important reminder of the need to protect the Clean Air Act from attacks.

7 US Supreme Court decision In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that global warming emissions are air pollutants and would be subject to EPA regulation under the Clean Air Act if a thorough scientific investigation showed that they endanger the public’s health and welfare. In 2009, the EPA released its scientific findings, concluding that climate change pollution presented a danger to public health (known as the “endangerment finding”).

8 Clean Air Act Under Attack Without the passage of a comprehensive climate and energy bill in 2010, the EPA must now carry out its responsibility under the Clean Air Act to reduce the emissions that cause climate change (mercury, particulate matter, ozone). However, this hallmark legislation is currently under attack in Congress by those who are actively challenging the EPA’s authority to regulate these emissions.

9 Clean Air Act Under Attack Long list of proposals pending to undermine the Clean Air Act Attaching riders and amendments to existing bills American Electric Power, American Petroleum Institute, National Association of Manufacturers, US Chamber, and others circling their wagons Serious threats

10 What Can We Be Doing? Sign-up to join our supporter outreach list – Give you more details about specific proposals and info needed to contact your elected official Write a letter to the editor of your local paper Sign a postcard! – Urgent

11 For more information: Tracy Sabetta National Wildlife Federation


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