Friday, July 22, 2011

DC hits "Code Red"... as polluters seek House help to cripple new smog standards

At the very least, it is an irony of timing.

As you may be aware, our nation’s capital is under a “code red” smog alert today because of the continued heat and stagnant air. Check EPA’s official forecast for the day:

(By the way, “Code Red” means the air is REALLY bad!. A “Code Orange” alert means the air violates the Bush administration’s smog standard, which is under official review because it is scientifically inadequate. No wonder there are reports of increased hospital admissions. As CBS Evening News reported last night, not only are more people heading to emergency rooms, they are sicker because of the filthy air.)

The polluters picked this very day to make a pitch to key House Republicans to kill EPA’s attempt to set new standards based on sound science. As Politico Morning Energy notes today:

Industry representatives are slated to meet Friday with E&C chairman Fred Upton and his deputy on energy issues, Ed Whitfield, to discuss the EPA's ozone standard, according to industry groups. The American Petroleum Institute requested the meeting and invited the same groups that met last week with EPA chief Lisa Jackson on the issue, including the American Chemistry Council, the Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Forest and Paper Association, the National Petrochemical Refiners Association and the National Oilseed Processing Association.
Upton, Whitfield and friends are already seeking to delay cleanup of smog-producing coal-fired power plants.

Will they now try to meddle in the science of smog in order to help out industry buddies? We hope they stand down and let EPA set standards based on science, as we and many other groups noted yesterday in our letter to President Obama.

A final note, for now: do you think the polluter big-wigs will share a cab to this meeting to cut down on smog-producing emissions?

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