Wyoming Senator Moves to Gut Long List of Environmental Protections

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Kassie Siegel, ksiegel@biologicaldiversity.org, (760) 366-2232 x 302

 

Wyoming Senator Moves to Gut Long List of Environmental Protections

Bill Would Halt Crucial Work to Address Global Warming

WASHINGTON - Sen.
John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) introduced a bill today aimed at repealing
virtually any federal protections against the buildup of dangerous carbon
pollution. The bill is the first of many expected congressional attacks on the
Clean Air Act, which for decades has dramatically reduced dangerous pollutants
like mercury and lead, prevented millions of illnesses such as asthma and
cancer, and saved thousands of lives.

"Senator Barrasso and his allies want big polluters
to have free rein to continue dumping unlimited amounts of dangerous carbon
pollution into our air, threatening our health and perilously warming the
planet," said Kassie Siegel, director of the Center for Biological Diversity's
Climate Law Institute. "This bill would sacrifice the health and safety of all
Americans to the profit and convenience of the nation's biggest
polluters."

The bill would exempt greenhouse
gases from regulation under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, National
Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act and other bedrock environmental
laws.

The United States has some of the strongest, most
cost-effective and most successful environmental protections in the world, which
have made our air and water cleaner, our ecosystems healthier, and can reduce
greenhouse pollution today. Chief among these is the Clean Air Act, with
tried-and-true air-pollution reduction programs that can work together to reduce
atmospheric carbon to the level scientists say is necessary to avoid the worst
effects of global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency is already
beginning to use the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from cars
and trucks, power plants, refineries and other smokestack
polluters.

"The EPA is rightly acting on order of the U.S.
Supreme Court, which said in 2007 that greenhouse gases are pollutants," Siegel
said. "The Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act and other laws are the safety
net that protect our children's future. Senator Barrasso must not be allowed to
shred that safety net just to please the country's largest
polluters."

Since the Clean Air Act's beginnings in the 1960s,
there have always been naysayers who predict economic doom and gloom with each
effort to protect the public from harmful pollutants. In fact, over the past 40
years the Act has held polluters accountable, cleaned our air and created
benefits valued at $22.2 trillion - 42 times greater than the estimated costs of
its regulations. Updated Clean Air Act standards will help spur innovation and
create jobs.  

To learn more, read the Center's fact sheet about the Clean Air
Act
and frequently asked questions about
how the national pollution cap provision of the Act can be used to reduce
greenhouse gas pollution.

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At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature - to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law, and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters, and climate that species need to survive.

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