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PSR defends EPA authority

September 23, 2009

PSR is working intensively to assure that the EPA’s power to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide from the biggest polluters is not stripped away. 

Even as the Senate was drafting climate legislation, Sen. Murkowski (R-AK) circulated an amendment that would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for one year from spending any money to regulate or control CO2 emissions from stationary sources – including coal-fired power plants, the largest point-source of CO2 emissions in the country.

The amendment is a back-door effort to hamstring the EPA, which has been highly effective in improving U.S. air quality and protecting public health.  PSR joined environmental organizations in a broad, concerted effort to assure that the Senate retains the EPA’s full authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, regardless of source. 

PSR executive director Peter Wilk, speaking at a press conference in Washington, stated, “We are deeply concerned that some Senators apparently are seeking to undermine [the EPA’s] authority and thereby place the health of all Americans at risk – especially the most vulnerable of our fellow citizens.”

PSR activists, chapters and board members called their senators to urge opposition to the Murkowski amendment.

You can join in raising this concern by calling your senators at the Senate switchboard in Washington:  202-224-3121.

The amendment would allow the major sources of greenhouse gases in this country to continue emitting CO2 – raising the risk of catastrophic effects from global warming.  Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are already at dangerous levels and must be rolled back before they reach the tipping point. 

Prompt, bold action can still protect us from the worst effects of global climate change.  

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