American Lung Association Urges Congress to Reject Chairman Upton’s Clean Air Act Bill

Washington, D.C. (February 3, 2011)

The American Lung Association urges Congress to reject Chairman Fred Upton’s draft bill that will undermine the Clean Air Act. The proposed legislation will rollback Clean Air Act protections that are in place to address the health impacts of carbon dioxide pollution and other greenhouse gas pollution, including protections upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.  The bill blocks Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), California, and other states from setting automobile greenhouse gas pollution standards. The bill would repeal at least eleven final actions taken to protect health and the environment under the Clean Air Act.

“The enactment of Chairman Fred Upton's bill would strip away Clean Air Act protections that safeguard Americans and their families from air pollution that puts their lives at risk,” said Charles D. Connor, CEO of the American Lung Association. “The protections against the health harm from carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas pollution are essential to public health and must be preserved.”

The Clean Air Act guards the most vulnerable Americans—those with asthma and other lung disease, children, older adults, and people heart disease and diabetes—from the dangers of airborne pollutants, including the threats from growing carbon dioxide pollution. Each year the Act prevents tens of thousands of adverse health effects, including asthma attacks, heart attacks and even premature death. This year alone, the Clean Air Act will save more than 160,000 lives, according to preliminary estimates by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Forty years of evidence shows that these health benefits come without harm to the economy. Since 1970, the Clean Air Act has cut emissions by more than 60 percent, all while the economy has grown by more than 200 percent. The Office of Management and Budget has shown that the benefits of the Clean Air Act far outweigh the compliance costs.

Americans have these protections because Congressional leaders of both parties worked together to create this law to protect the lives and health of their constituents. We urge Congress to reject Chairman Upton’s approach and support implementation of this vital law.

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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 Charity Navigator Four Star Charity and 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.LungUSA.org.