Americans and Congress don't breathe the same air
Americans overwhelmingly want the clean air that Congress is trying to take away.
Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 02:29 PM
This opinion piece was written for Earthjustice and is reprinted here with permission.
Many of our elected representatives in Congress just aren’t working for the will of the people. Right now, in direct opposition to the opinion of a large majority of Americans, these members of our government are putting in overtime to roll back important limits on air pollution coming from some of the worst industrial polluters in the nation.
They seek to block implementation of health protections that will reduce emissions of mercury, lead, cancer-causing dioxins, soot and other harmful air pollutants, saving thousands of lives and billions of dollars in the process. (And that’s not all they’re up to—these efforts to kill clean air protections are part of a widespread campaign in Congress to kneecap environmental protections generally. See here and here.)
Americans overwhelmingly want air pollution protections for their health and the health of their children. Sixty-eight percent of U.S. voters “feel that Congress should not stop the EPA from updating Clean Air Act standards.” This according to poll results released today by the American Lung Association, conducted collaboratively by Democratic and Republican polling firms. These bipartisan pollsters wrote:
The survey clearly indicates that voters strongly trust the EPA to deal with clean air standards more than Congress. A bipartisan 69 percent majority believes that EPA scientists, rather than Congress, should set pollution standards. This is despite opposing language arguing that our elected representatives in Congress would do a better job than ‘unelected bureaucrats at the EPA.’
The nation’s worst industrial mercury polluters—cement plants, industrial boilers and power plants—are facing for the first time limits on their emissions of this dangerous neurotoxicant. Seventy-nine percent of voters support stricter limits on this pollution, according to the ALA poll.
The poll's findings clearly show that Americans want clean air and want pro-polluter members of Congress to step aside. Please contact your representatives and tell them to oppose the all out assault on clean air and other critical environmental protections.