Following EPA’s Roll Out of First Standards on Power Plant Carbon Pollution, the American Lung Association’s Red Carriage Rolls to Capitol Hill to Fight For Clean Air

(March 28, 2012)

More than 100 doctors, nurses, clean air advocates and American Lung Association staff and volunteers from 34 states gathered today on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to demonstrate their support for clean air protections. After stops across the country earlier this month, the Lung Association’s iconic Red Carriage made its way back to D.C., kicking off a day of advocacy initiatives with the unfurling of a giant banner in front of the Capitol. For more than a year now, the Lung Association has been fighting against attempts in Congress to weaken clean air protections, and today’s events come in the midst of heightened attention to this issue.

Just yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rolled out the first-ever national standards for carbon pollution from power plants. These protections are expected to help reduce harmful smog, which leads to childhood asthma attacks and complications for those with lung disease. Despite this progress however, today the House Energy and Power Subcommittee is moving forward with a hearing on the Gasoline Regulations Act of 2012. A bill that will not impact today’s gasoline prices but would block air pollution clean-up and eliminate life-saving clean air protections.

“After a year of fighting Congressional attempts to graft a dirty air agenda onto nearly every piece of legislation, our Red Carriage is back in D.C. to show them that we’re not quieting down anytime soon,” said Peter Iwanowicz, head of the American Lung Association’s Healthy Air Campaign. “We took the Red Carriage through states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, which have some of the dirtiest air in the country and placed ads on billboards and television. We want to make sure that Congress knows that the public does not support their attempts at letting big polluters churn out unlimited amounts of dirty air.”

As big polluters and their allies in Congress continue their efforts to eliminate safeguards that protect our children from breathing dirty air, the Lung Association’s annual Advocacy Day kicked off with advocates gathered on the steps of the Capitol with several red carriages and a giant Red Carriage banner urging Congress and the White House not to back down on clean air standards. Following this, nearly 150 in-person meetings were held with members of Congress to express why clean air needs to be a priority.

Canvassers also flooded the capital area passing out flyers illustrating the devastating number of lives lost to air pollution-related diseases in each state. These flyers reveal that those living in the heartland and eastern states experience the highest concentration of air pollution related fatalities.

“These data demonstrate why current standards, like the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, are so important,” said Peter Iwanowicz. “Soot and smog pollution can travel far from their sources in places like Ohio and Michigan, to other states as far away as Maine and Massachusetts.”

Red Carriage events were held over the past several weeks in Ohio and Pennsylvania to raise awareness about those states’ unhealthy levels of pollution, and the iconic ads have been featured on billboards in major metropolitan areas, in newspapers and on local TV stations. The television ad will also run on network and cable television starting this week.

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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.