Today one of my Republican colleagues introduced a proposal to brazenly overturn sound scientific work done by our nation’s leading public health experts and prohibit the Environment Protection Agency from doing its job to protect the health and welfare of the American people. This extremely damaging proposal is a political stunt designed to effectively strip the EPA’s power to curb harmful air pollution.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) proposal takes the form of a “Resolution of Disapproval” under the Congressional Review Act. It is so extreme that it would legally overturn scientists’ very conclusion, based on decades of scientific study, that greenhouse-gas emissions threaten public health and the environment, and it would have the effect of prohibiting the EPA from making the same conclusion in the future. It could block any action by the EPA to protect our families, our communities, and our economy from greenhouse-gas pollution.
This resolution represents an irresponsible attempt to take away the power of an independent agency whose sole purpose is to protect the health of our families, friends, and neighbors and the environment we live in.
Imagine if Congress always put the interests of polluters ahead of the health of our families. Our rivers and lakes would be choked with sewage. Acid rain would pour down from smog-filled skies. Hundreds of thousands more of our neighbors, friends, and loved ones would be victims of cancer, heart disease, and asthma. President Nixon — Nixon! — signed the EPA into law because even Republicans recognized that unchecked pollution was poisoning our people.
This resolution is a return to that polluter-first approach that even President Nixon found intolerable.
Decades of scientific research has proven that carbon pollution is harmful to human health and causes global warming. The EPA’s endangerment finding — as required by the Clean Air Act — found that carbon pollution endangers the health of millions of American families and future generations. This resolution would block the EPA’s ability to regulate unsafe air pollution and would continue to allow our nation’s considerable contribution to global warming to go unchecked. What’s worse, this resolution aims to politicize an independent agency and prevent it from protecting the health of our citizens and our communities.
While supporters of this misguided resolution try to tout its supposed positive impact for our economy, it would actually harm our economy by helping maintain our dependence on foreign oil, hamstringing EPA’s ability to promote clean energy options, and negatively impacting our nation’s clean energy jobs industry. This resolution encourages big polluters to continue polluting, and discourages one of the fastest-growing industries in America: clean energy. Continuing on the path of spending billions of dollars a day to import foreign oil rather than make significant progress transforming our energy economy and developing American-made renewable energy is a deeply flawed approach.
Plainly put, this dangerous resolution has the best interest of big energy industries in mind, not the health and welfare of the American people or our environment, and not the clean energy job creation we urgently need right now. Because this extreme resolution only needs a simple majority to pass, we need you to speak out. Please consider calling your senators and urging them to put the health of our citizens before politics and vote against this harmful resolution.