Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Quick Update: House Panel Approves Polluter Plan to Radically Weaken Clean Air Act

A quick update to our most recent post:

Today, in a party-line vote, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved legislation that would radically weaken the Clean Air Act in order to save money for the oil industry and other polluters.  It was painful to watch this live.

Among other things, this bill, sponsored by Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) would:

--Demand that the federal government mislead the public about dangerous air pollution.
--Overturn a Supreme Court ruling -- unanimous and written by Scalia, no less! -- which held that national air quality standards should be based only on health science, not cost or "feasibility."
--Grant amnesty to new sources of pollution (how do you spell "fracking") in polluted areas.
--Subject the breathing public to added years of dirty air.
--Ignore public health protect from dirty air when the air is "stagnant."
--Delay scientific reviews of existing air pollution standards.

To sum it up: the oil industry and other big polluters are trying to pay Congress off to get industry off the hook and relieve it of the responsibility of cleaning up. And industry wants to take away the public's right to know if the air is actually clean -- or not.

The legislation is expected next to head to the full House of Representatives, where it likely will be rammed through as it was here.  Anyone at the White House ready to talk veto yet?

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