Thursday, January 17, 2013

Leading Public Health Groups Join Call for Smog-Fighting, Low-Sulfur Gasoline

This is an important letter from the public health community.  It's time for these important smog-fighting tools to move forward!  They are also supported by business, labor, state government and environmental groups. 

The only opposition is from BIG OIL.  This is a no-brainer.

Here is the new letter:

American Heart Association American Lung Association American Public Health Association American Thoracic Society

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America Health Care Without Harm
National Association of County and City Health Officials
Trust for America’s Health
 
 
January 16, 2013 President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest Washington DC 20500
 
Dear Mr. President:
 
As leading medical and public health organizations, we urge you to adopt lower sulfur gasoline and cleaner vehicle emissions standards no later than December 31, 2013. These stronger public health protections will significantly reduce toxic air pollution from the U.S. passenger vehicle fleet, and are urgently needed. Nearly 159 million Americans still live in areas where the air is too dangerous to breathe.  Cleaner gasoline will benefit their health immediately.
 
Passenger vehicles remain one of the major sources of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxide emissions that react in the atmosphere to form ozone, which triggers asthma attacks, worsens lung disease and shortens life. Cars, light trucks and SUVs also contribute to ambient fine particulate matter which threatens heart and lung health, as well as increased risk of premature death. Emerging health research indicates that people who live or work near roadways suffer disproportionate adverse health effects from air pollution.
 
Not only does the nation need these reductions in ozone and particulate matter to protect public health, lower sulfur gasoline and vehicle emissions standards are one of the most cost- effective paths to cleaner air. The National Association of Clean Air Agencies estimates that by lowering the sulfur content in gasoline, the nation could immediately reduce the amount of air pollution equal to removing 33 million cars and light trucks from our roads. Reducing the sulfur in gasoline will build on the strong foundation of your efforts to increase fuel efficiency and cut carbon pollution in half by 2025.
 
Americans have the right to breathe clean and healthy air. In our work to improve the health of our patients and the public, we know first-hand that the air too many Americans breathe puts their health and their lives at risk.  The new standards will protect the health of all, especially those who are most vulnerable: our children; the elderly; those with chronic lung disease, heart disease or diabetes; and those who have low incomes. We urge you to propose lower sulfur   gasoline and cleaner vehicle emissions standards immediately to ensure the standards are finalized  by December 31, 2013.
 
Sincerely,
 


American Heart Association
American Lung Association
American Public Health Association
American Thoracic Society

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
Health Care Without Harm
National Association of County and City Health Officials
Trust for America’s Health

cc:        Nancy Sutley, Chair, Council on Environmental Quality
            Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change
             Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Bob Perciasepe, Deputy Administrator, US EPA
Gina McCarthy, Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation, US EPA
Chris Grundler, Director, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, US EPA

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