For Immediate Release
House Republicans Attack Clean Air, Climate in Budget Bill
Lifesaving Pollution Controls for Smog-causing Ozone Delayed for Decade; All Climate Change Efforts Curtailed
WASHINGTON - Legislation funding the Environmental Protection Agency contains multiple policy provisions that would delay Clean Air Act safeguards and cripple the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to address climate change. Compounding the impact of these policy riders, the bill cuts the overall EPA budget by 6 percent. The bill also supports the Trump administration’s goal of shrinking the size of the EPA workforce.
One provision in the bill would allow states to delay meeting the 2015 Clean Air Act standards for ozone for 10 years. The EPA has estimated that meeting the 2015 ozone standard of 70 parts per billion would prevent more than 1,400 premature deaths annually. Parts of Arizona and California would be the hardest hit if the changes are delayed. Similar legislation was introduced by Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) in February.
“Ozone pollution causes smog, and smog kills people. This type of cynical policy rider has no place in a bill to fund the government,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This giveaway to polluters will come at the price of the health of our most vulnerable citizens.”
The funding bill also takes swipes at the EPA’s efforts to address climate change by preventing the agency from collecting information on greenhouse gas emissions, preventing it from addressing livestock emissions, and declaring wood-burning electrical facilities to be carbon neutral even though they are not.
“Sticking your head in the sand is not a solution to climate change. The oceans keep rising and the planet keeps warming,” said Hartl. “This bill attempts to codify an extreme, anti-environmental agenda that would make the Koch brothers, ExxonMobil and many other dirty polluters proud.”
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