American Lung Association Hails Bipartisan Rejection of Clean Air Rollback

56 U.S. Senators vote to protect public health

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

(November 10, 2011)

Today, a clear bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate stood up for the health of our children and rejected the attempts by big corporate polluters and their allies in Congress to block clean air safeguards. Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) S.J. Res. 27 was soundly rejected by a 41 to 56 vote of the Senate.

This vote is a clear rejection of efforts to block commonsense clean air health protections. With six Republican Senators and 50 of their Democratic colleagues voting against this outrageous attack on public health, we are encouraged to see a growing number of legislators on both sides of the aisle recognizing the importance of putting clean air ahead of corporate interests.

Had it passed and become law, the measure would have blocked the scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from implementing standards to address pollution that drifts across state lines. The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule became final this summer and will address pollution that is emitted in one state and contributes to air quality problems in neighboring states.

Public health protections such as the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule have ensured the Clean Air Act has a proven track record of success. In fact, this measure will prevent up to 34,000 premature deaths, 400,000 asthma attacks, 15,000 heart attacks, and 19,000 hospital visits each year starting in 2014. 
Today’s Senate action stands in stark contrast to the repeated efforts by the House of Representatives to rollback health protections. The American people want a Congress that looks out for them, not big corporate polluters. America’s children can’t afford to wait any longer for clean air.

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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.