The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Phone: 202-331-5420

Senator Brown Unfairly Attacking League of Women Voters

Statement by Kevin Knobloch, UCS President


Sen. Scott Brown, (R-Mass.) is unreasonably attacking the League of Women Voters for running an ad criticizing his recent vote to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon pollution.

Below is a statement by Kevin Knobloch, president of UCS.

"The League of Women Voters' ad spotlighting Senator Brown's recent vote on EPA's authority to reduce global warming pollution is based on fact. Whether he acknowledges it or not, Senator Brown voted to allow dangerous and worsening air pollution. Increasing temperatures from climate change will greatly worsen ground-level ozone, which causes "code red" bad air quality days -- days when health officials warn that children, the elderly and people with lung disease should stay inside. According to the EPA, ground-level ozone can aggravate asthma and increase susceptibility to respiratory illnesses, such as pneumonia and bronchitis. Repeated exposure can cause permanent lung damage.

"Senator Brown is arguing that the Congress -- not the EPA -- should be regulating carbon emissions, but Congress failed last year to do so even in the face of overwhelming science underscoring the urgent need to act. The Supreme Court was crystal clear that Congress gave EPA the authority and responsibility to regulate global warming pollution when it passed the Clean Air Act.

"The Clean Air Act has been extraordinary successful. In 2010 alone, it prevented an estimated 160,000 premature deaths and millions of cases of respiratory and cardiovascular disease. These are annual benefits projected to grow during the next decade. This law has also been good for the economy, with its benefits exceeding its costs by more than 26 to one.

"The Senator falsely argues that requiring carbon reductions will harm our economy, when in fact clean energy is one of the few growth areas of our economy, expanding jobs, investment and the tax base. According to a recent survey by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, more than 11,000 people were employed in the clean energy industry in Massachusetts at the end of 2010, an increase of 65 percent since 2007. Massachusetts greatly increased its clean energy generation capacity between 2007 and 2010.

"Thanks to forward-looking climate and clean energy policies adopted by the Patrick administration and state legislature, Massachusetts is showing the country the path forward to a resilient and vibrant economic future with enormous health benefits for residents. We strongly urge Senator Brown to support and bolster that future with his votes in the Congress."

The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.