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Urgent! Speak out for healthy air!

February 28, 2011

Last week the House of Representatives passed a “Continuing Resolution” (budget bill) with amendments denying the EPA the power to regulate pollutants.  The bill limited or revoked the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases, mercury and other air toxics, water pollutants, coal ash, and mountaintop removal wastes. 

The Senate will consider this bill, possibly on March 3.

The House voted to:

  • Block the EPA from enforcing the rule that regulates mercury and other air toxics emissions from cement plants.  Mercury can damage the developing brain, reduce IQ, and cause mental retardation, behavioral problems, and developmental abnormalities.  Cement plants are a major source of mercury emissions in the U.S.
  • Eliminate funding for EPA control of greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources.  This would exempt coal-fired power plants, steel mills, refineries and other major greenhouse gas emitters.
  • Prohibit the use of funds by EPA to regulate coal ash as a hazardous waste, thus prematurely ending EPA consideration of regulating the safe disposal of this toxic substance.

Other amendments passed by the House would stop the EPA from administering or enforcing Clean Water Act provisions for mountaintop removal, and would halt certain state and regional water standards and programs.

Although the Continuing Resolution is a budget bill, many of the amendments passed by the House do not reduce expenditures.  Rather, they simply halt EPA enforcement of programs to stop big polluters from contaminating air and water.

In the long run, these actions are projected to increase health care costs as our society faces the rising illnesses that will inevitably result.

Not all the amendments were budget-neutral; total funding for the EPA was slashed by $3 billion.

Action Alerts

  • 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!

  • Tell Congress: Protect our Health -- Oppose extreme anti-health bills

    Congress should ensure that federal agencies enforce laws that protect our water, air quality and public health--not curb the power of those agencies to carry out their mission. Tell your representative you oppose the REINS Act and the Midnight Rule Relief Act of 2017.

More action alerts»

Resources

  • 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 »

  • Fact Sheet on Anti-Health Bills

    The House of Representatives has introduced several bills that will jeopardize federal rules that protect our air, water and overall safety. Read more »

In the Spotlight

  • November 30, 2016
    Eating for Climate and Health
    PSR's new PowerPoint presentation on how climate change impacts food production, and agriculture's contribution to climate change.