Monday, July 17, 2017

Ten Good Reasons for the U.S. Senate to Oppose the Smoggy Skies Act

[Update: the House of Representatives did approve the Smoggy Skies Act yesterday by a 229-199 vote, mostly but not exclusively along party lines.  Eleven Republican members voted against.  The outcome was far from a shock, but it was encouraging to see so many opposed.  The legislation now goes to an uncertain fate in the Senate,  The arguments noted below still apply.]

There are plenty of reasons to oppose the Smoggy Skies Act (HR 806) which is coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives tomorrow. 

 Here are 10 of them:

1) Ozone not only can make you sick, it can shorten your life.  The Smoggy Skies Act would subject the breathing public to unhealthful levels of ozone for a longer time. 

2) The Smoggy Skies Act would demand that the federal government mislead the public about dangerous air pollution.

3) The “Act” would overturn a unanimous Supreme Court ruling — written by the late Justice Scalia — which held that national air quality standards should be based only on health, not cost of “feasibility.”

4) It would prohibit the EPA from proposing new ozone standards before late 2025 — no matter what new science finds.

5) It would delay scientific review of OTHER air quality standards such as those for fine-particle soot and toxic lead. 

6) The Smoggy Skies Act flies in the face of public opinion. An American Lung Association poll found that American by a 2-1 margin believe Congress should maintain standards that reduce the amount of smog-forming pollution from power plants, refineries and other smokestack industries. 

7) The “Act” would reverse the intention of the Clean Air Act; its bipartisan authors believed that air quality standards based on health protection would drive the development of clean-up technology.  They were right!

8) It would grant amnesty to new sources of pollution (how do you spell “fracking?") in polluted areas.

9) It would ignore public health protection from dirty air when the air is "stagnant."

10) The Smoggy Skies Act has the appearance of a payoff to big polluters who favor its passage — and who have made generous campaign contributions.

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