John Walke

John Walke is a senior attorney and the Director of NRDC's Clean Air Program.


House Republicans attack life-saving mercury and air toxics standards

It would be irresponsible to deny clean air to the American people.Photo: BronxCross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. And so it begins. Long a rumored dirty secret, Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) confirmed today that House Republicans plan to introduce legislation to delay mercury and air toxics standards that will save up to 26,000 lives every year. The chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Power subcommittee told PoliticoPro [$ubreq] today that such a bill would be introduced after the two-week congressional recess. Whitfield admitted bluntly, “[t]he objective is to delay the implementation of these regulations.” The EPA regulations he …

Getting their act together

A little background on the EPA’s new mercury and air toxics rule

Cross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. Today, the EPA announced the most important actions to clean up air pollution from dirty coal-burning power plants since the Clean Air Act was last updated in 1990. EPA’s proposed mercury and air toxics standards for power plants that burn coal and oil are projected to save as many as 17,000 American lives [PDF] every year by 2015. These standards also will prevent up to 120,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms and there will be 11,000 fewer cases of acute bronchitis among children every year. The standards also will avoid more than 12,000 …

this house needs cleaning

Meet the members of Congress who sided with corporate polluters over children and your health

May not be safe to enter.Cross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. For the first time in the 40 year history of the Clean Air Act, a majority of the House of Representatives has voted to block EPA from implementing and enforcing standards to sharply reduce mercury and other toxic air emissions from a polluting industry. In one of a long list of irresponsible amendments to last week’s Republican budget, nearly all Republicans and a small group of Democrats voted to block EPA standards to reduce mercury, arsenic, lead, PCBs, dioxins and furans, and heavy metals from cement plants. Mercury …