Get ready for a bruising battle on the House floor as the energy bill comes up later this week.
Joe Barton’s dirty-air amendment will face a bipartisan challenge. See the “dear colleague” letter, below, circulated today by Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Tom Allen (D-ME) and Chris Shays (R-CT).
The Barton plan could create a dirty-air domino effect. It would prolong smog problems in much of the country. And that would mean more asthma attacks for children, and other smog-related miseries.
April 19, 2005
The Smog Extension Must Go
The attached article from Saturday's New York Times describes a dramatic change to the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments buried in the Energy Policy Act. Section 1443 would enable industrial polluters to postpone smog cleanup in - for starters - Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston-Galveston, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland, and the entire area stretching from Washington, DC to Southern Connecticut. The delay would leave the millions of Americans living in those areas, as well as many millions more living downwind, breathing unsafe amounts of smog for as much as a decade beyond the cleanup deadlines in the current Clean Air Act.
We hope you will support the Johnson-Allen-Shays amendment to strike this smog extension provision from the Energy Bill. Smog - technically called ground-level ozone -triggers asthma attacks in children, sends the elderly to emergency rooms, and forces outdoor workers off the job. Using Environmental Protection Agency numbers, a modeling expert commissioned by Clear the Air projected that the dirty air extension provision in the Energy Bill would, between 2005 and 2016, allow big polluters to cause well over one million more asthma attacks, and well over one-and-a-half million more missed school days, than the existing Clean Air Act would allow.
EPA recently issued the Clean Air Interstate Rule to address smog in the eastern United States. Extending deadlines will undermine the local efforts upon which the Clean Air Interstate Rule depends. Please join us in supporting healthy air, a strong Clean Air Act, and fewer cases of asthma.
S/ S/ S/
Tom Allen, Member of Congress
Eddie Bernice Johnson, Member of Congress
Chris Shays, Member of Congress