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Clean Air Defenders Vow to Fight Washington’s Assault on Clean Air

After defeating several attempts to block carbon pollution standards by big polluters and Congress, environmental groups say they’re in the fight for the long haul

Washington, D.C. – As long as the big polluters and their cronies in Congress continue to wage their assault on clean air, environmental and public health groups will be there to fight back, environmental leaders said during a media teleconference today.

Last week, clean air advocates successfully beat back four amendments in the U.S. Senate and dangerous legislative riders on the Continuing Resolution that would have blocked the Environmental Protection Agency’s reasonable carbon pollution cleanup standards.  Despite these setbacks, the big polluters and their cronies in Congress plan to continue their assault on clean air even as public opinion polling shows they are drastically out of step with the American people when it comes to federal support for clean air standards. 

A CNN poll taken after the Continuing Resolution funding fight found that 71 percent of Americans support funds for the Environmental Protection Agency to “enforce regulations on greenhouse gases and other environmental issues” and oppose legislation to block the EPA.  An earlier poll released by the American Lung Association found that 69% of voters think that the EPA should update clean air standards and 68% oppose congressional interference with updated clean air standards.

“Throughout the year, the EPA will be moving forward with standards that will reduce pollution and protect public health. Each action will be a flashpoint in the fight over clean air as the other side has committed themselves to stopping all of these common sense measures in the name of the big corporate polluters and Big Oil,” said Margie Alt, Executive Director of Environment America. “We’re here to say we’ll be there to fight them over clean air.”

“The assault on clean air is out of step with what Americans want. They want clean air, less pollution, polluters held accountable and clean energy sources. Some Members of Congress are out of touch with this reality,” said Trip Van Noppen, president of Earthjustice.

“Corporate polluters made attacking the Clean Air Act a priority and they were soundly defeated in both the U.S. Senate and Continuing Resolution debate,” said LCV President Gene Karpinski. “The fight to protect clean air will surely continue as evidenced by those in Congress who vow continued attacks on the EPA. Poll after poll proves that Americans want scientists at the EPA, not politicians in Congress, to determine air pollution limits and protect public health.”

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