American Lung Association Condemns House Passage of HR 3409

Legislation is a breathtaking attack on life-saving clean air protections

Statement of Paul G. Billings, Senior Vice President for the American Lung Association

Washington, D.C. (September 21, 2012)

“Today, the U.S. House of Representatives, at the urging of big polluters, passed legislation that would be the biggest rollback of the Clean Air Act since it was enacted more than 40 years ago. H.R. 3409 would repeal, block, delay or weaken more than a dozen clean air protections that would improve the lives of all Americans, prevent tens of thousands of premature deaths and hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks each year. The breadth and scope of the attack on these life-saving protections is breathtaking.”

“H.R. 3409 is a compilation of measures that the U.S. House passed last year, some of which were rejected by the Senate or received a Presidential veto threat. The bill includes the text of H.R. 2401, passed on September 23, 2011. This bill would block enforcement of the Power Plant Mercury and Air Toxics Standards that will prevent 11,000 premature deaths and more than 130,000 asthma attacks each year. The bill would overturn more than 40 years of Clean Air Act history by eliminating provisions that make protecting public health the sole factor in defining clean air.”

“H.R. 3409 also includes the text of H.R. 910 that passed the House on April 7, 2011. That legislation would overturn more than 10 final clean air protections, and it would repeal a finding made by scientists; thwarting efforts to protect the health of Americans from carbon pollution.”

“The Clean Air Act has a proven track record of success, preventing an estimated 160,000 premature deaths in 2010. Cleaner air helps reduce avoidable medical visits that drive up health care costs for Americans already struggling to get by. To make another attempt to gut the Clean Air Act now at the behest of big polluters is outrageous. America’s children, seniors, those with chronic diseases are counting on the clean air protections that the Obama administration has established to improve their lives. They can’t afford to wait any longer for clean air.”

“While we are pleased that the bill received a threat of a Presidential veto and believe the U.S. Senate will once again reject these dangerous, life-threatening measures, we are dismayed that the House leadership prioritized this bill – one that places the interests of polluters before the health of our children – for consideration during this short legislative session.”

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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.