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Tell the EPA to ban the use of methylene chloride and NMP in commercial and consumer paint strippers. Let’s protect workers and consumers from these harmful chemicals and switch to safer alternatives.

Climate control gradualism on my daughter’s birthday

Posted by Barbara Gottlieb on February 23, 2010

Today is my daughter's birthday.  She's 14, a young teenager beginning to make her way into the world.

So it’s with a swirl of emotion that I watch the battle unfold on Capitol Hill, where a phalanx of politicians is seeking to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases.

  • Facing heavy political pressure, the EPA signaled yesterday that it will take a gradual approach to phasing in its anticipated carbon dioxide (CO2) regulations for industrial sources.  EPA administrator Lisa Jackson stated in written comments to Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia that she expects to "phase in permit requirements and regulation of greenhouse gases for large stationary sources" – coal-fired power plants, among other heavy polluters – "beginning in calendar year 2011."
  • Jackson also stated that the EPA does not intend to subject the smallest sources to Clean Air Act permitting for greenhouse gas emissions any sooner than 2016.

Politicians pushing to strip the EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gases called Jackson’s statement a positive signal.  

Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska applauded what she perceived as a backing away from EPA’s determination to regulate greenhouse gases under the "endangerment finding" the EPA reached last spring.

That finding, based on an extensive review of the science and on hundreds of thousands of public comments, concluded that greenhouse gases do indeed pose a threat to human health and well-being.  PSR’s executive director Peter Wilk, M.D. provided comments on the proposed finding last May.

Sen Murkowski is a prominent advocate for stripping the EPA of its power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and has introduced a resolution to that effect.  PSR has joined with other national health organizations to send a letter to the U.S. Senate opposing Murkowski's resolution.

  • Today, Jackson defended the science underpinning greenhouse gas regulation before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

As a member of PSR's staff, I'm dismayed to see the number of politicians willing to discard the scientific evidence that human activity, especially the burning of fossil fuels, is causing climate change.

As a mother, I am heartbroken and horrified to watch as politicians from coal and oil states threaten our children’s world with catastrophic climate chaos. 

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Action Alerts

  • Tell EPA: Ban toxic chemicals from paint strippers

    Tell the EPA to ban the use of methylene chloride and NMP in commercial and consumer paint strippers. Let’s protect workers and consumers from these harmful chemicals and switch to safer alternatives.

  • It's time to put our health before polluter profits

    Climate change is endangering us now, harming public health and causing damage to our communities from extreme weather events. Tell your senators that rolling back methane pollution standards, a key step in our fight against climate change, is unacceptable!

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Resources

  • Too Dirty, Too Dangerous

    PSR's report, Too Dirty, Too Dangerous: Why Health Professionals Reject Methane, based on summaries of recent medical and scientific studies, clearly conveys the health threats that accompany use of methane as a fuel. Read more »

  • Climate Change and Famine

    Climate change is already threatening the Earth’s ability to produce food. These effects are expected to worsen as climate change worsens. Read more »

  • Congressional Review Act Handout

    Congress is poised to use the CRA to dismantle Clean Air and Clean Water protections. CRA allows Congress by majority vote in both chambers (with limited debate and no opportunity for a filibuster) to void recently issued rules-resulting in communities losing dozens of health, safety and environmental protections. Read more »

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