American Lung Association Urges the U.S. Senate to Reject HR 2401

Legislation would block efforts to improve public health and save lives

Statement of Charles D. Connor, President and CEO of the American Lung Association

Washington, D.C. (September 23, 2011)

“Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would tear the heart and lungs out of the Clean Air Act: H.R.2401, the latest measure from a body becoming known as passing measures toxic to public health. This bill is the single greatest roll-back of Clean Air Act protections in history. It ignores public health and will have dire consequences for all Americans, especially people with lung diseases, including lung cancer, asthma and emphysema.

“H.R. 2401 was a bad bill before it hit the floor of the House and only got worse. Amendments by Representatives Whitfield, Latta, and Dent to further gut and delay clean air protections were also approved. The Whitfield amendment would cripple the way toxic air standards are set and would indefinitely delay the cleanup of power plant mercury and air toxics and pollution that cross state boundaries. The Latta amendment would overturn 40 years of Clean Air Act history by eliminating provisions that make protecting public health the sole factor in defining clean air. The Dent amendment would delay cleanup of mercury and air toxics and perpetuate “paralysis by analysis” by requiring yet another unnecessary study of long overdue clean air safeguards for cement plants.

“The Clean Air Act has a proven track record of success, preventing an estimated 160,000 premature deaths last year and reducing avoidable medical visits that drive up health care costs for Americans already struggling to get by in a weak economy.  To throw it all away now at the behest of special interests that that spend millions on lawyers and lobbyists to continue to pollute, rather than investing in cleaning up outdated and dangerous equipment, is outrageous. America’s children can’t afford to wait any longer for clean air.

“With the threat of a Presidential veto made earlier this week, it is clear that the Senate must do what the House failed to do; reject this dangerous, life-threatening bill and stand up for the health of our children.”

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About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases.  For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: www.Lung.org.