PA IPL is joining the League of Women Voters and many other organizations in signing the Clean Air Promise. Protecting and preserving creation is central to how we, as people of faith, respond to the environmental crisis, and right now the EPA is the only government agency acting to reduce carbon emissions. Join us by signing the Clean Air Promise, either on our facebook page or by emailing us. Here’s the simple text:
"I promise to protect America's children and families from dangerous air pollution.
Because toxics and pollutants such as mercury, smog, carbon, and soot, cause thousands of hospital visits, asthma attacks, and even deaths.
I will support clean air policies and other protections that scientists and public health experts have recommended to the EPA to safeguard our air quality."
Sign the Clean Air Promise and help keep the EPA
working to protect our environment
PA IPL board member Joy Bergey writes: “The Clean Air Act is one of the backbones of public health and environmental law in this country. The Clean Air act prevents human illness and extends lives. It protects our lungs and hearts by requiring that pollutants be removed from our air. The White House estimates that this legislation saved 160,000 American lives in 2010 alone.
One of the most important amendments to the Clean Air Act was made in 1990, signed into law by another Republican President, George H. W. Bush. It addressed acid rain, a problem not recognized in 1970. Acid rain was slowly killing the aquatic life in rivers and lakes all over the Northeastern US.
By the late 1980’s, concern galvanized the country, and Congress amended the Clean Air Act to create the Acid Rain Program. Again, industry screamed they would be bankrupted. On the eve of the legislation, the EPA itself estimated that the program would cost $6 billion annually. Now, by the way, the federal Office of Management and Budget has estimated actual costs to have been $1.1 to $1.8 billion -- just 20 to 30 percent of the forecasts.
EPA: “The total benefits of the Clean Air Act (since 1970) amount to more than 40 times the costs of regulation. For every one dollar we have spent, we get more than $40 of benefits in return.
Another air pollution problem not recognized in 1970 was global warming. But we know now just how huge the threat is.
In 2009, the EPA did the science, and confirmed what the overwhelming number of serious, trained climate scientists already knew: carbon dioxide, as the global arming culprit, is a serious threat to public health. And EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced that as of January 2011, the EPA would start regulating carbon dioxide from the country’s largest coal-burning power plants. And that has indeed started.
Just about everybody in Congress, even progressives who are all for regulation of carbon dioxide, don’t want a regulatory agency, EPA, to be setting the rules. As a matter of turf and pride, Congress wants to set the rules for how regulation will occur. But Congress has utterly failed to pass legislation to set these rules.
There is practically no chance that the 112th Congress will pass a climate change law this year or next. However, Congress is actively trying to weaken the Clean Air Act and stop EPA from regulating global warming pollution. This is egregious. Please call your senator today.”