American Lung Association Urges U.S. Senate to Reject Latest House Leadership Attempt to Roll Back Clean Air Protections

Statement of Paul G. Billings, Vice President for National Policy and Advocacy of the American Lung Association

Washington, D.C. (June 21, 2012)

“Today, at the urging of Big Oil, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation (H.R. 4480) that would block critical clean air protections and fundamentally cripple the process for determining whether our air is safe to breathe. The U.S. Senate must reject this latest attack on the health of our children and our families.”

“The bill contains language that would alter how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the health standard for ozone (smog). For more than 40 years, the EPA has followed Congressional direction and set the health standards for pollutants based solely on science. Big polluters have continuously sought to repeal the Clean Air Act and have been rebuffed. In fact, in 2001 the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the EPA must base the health standard solely on what is needed to protect public health.”

“What they seek to do now is akin to requiring a physician to base diagnosis of an illness on the cost of treatment and the willingness of the insurer to cover it. People deserve to know whether the air they breathe can make them sick, just as they deserve to know the truth from their doctor.”

“The bill would also add a redundant layer of bureaucracy to the EPA’s existing regulatory process. The EPA would be barred from proposing and accepting comment on regulations to reduce pollution from motor vehicles, to set cleaner burning gasoline standards, to set performance standards for refineries and to update health standards for smog, until the further analysis was completed.”

“It is well past time that the current House leaders desist in their efforts to weaken, block and rollback safeguards that will improve the health of children and our families. The President’s Senior Advisors have recommended a veto of this bill, and the Senate should immediately reject HR 4480.”

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About the American Lung Association
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. 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-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lung.org.