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Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 21, 2010
CONTACT: Josh Dorner, 202.675.2384

Clean Air Act Under Attack As New Poll Shows
Strong Public Support for EPA Action to Reduce Emissions

Attacks Protect Dirty Coal, Big Oil at Expense of Clean Energy, Natural Gas

Washington, D.C.--A new poll of battleground states conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group on behalf of the Clean Energy Works campaign underscores strong public support for both EPA and Congressional action to promote clean energy and reduce emissions.  The poll was released today amid renewed efforts by big polluters and their allies in the Senate to attack the Clean Air Act. 

"Big polluters and their allies in the Senate have launched an unprecedented assault on the Clean Air Act," said Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director.  "Not only have these big polluters stymied efforts to pass comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation in spite of strong public support for it, they are also trying to tie President Obama's hands by gutting the popular and effective laws we already have on the books.  Instead of further delay and distractions, it's time for the Senate to get serious about passing legislation that reduces emissions, slashes our dependence on oil, and creates new clean energy jobs."

New poll: Strong public support for action by EPA, Congress to reduce emissions

The new battleground states poll released today by the Clean Energy Works campaign demonstrates strong public support for the Environmental Protection Agency's plans to reduce emissions and fight global warming using its existing powers under the Clean Air Act. Fifty-nine percent of those polled agree and just 39 percent disagree that "if Congress doesn't pass this energy bill, the Environmental Protection Agency should take action to regulate carbon polluters. Among Independents, support for EPA action is even stronger: 61 percent agree and only 37 percent disagree.  The poll also showed strong support (58 percent support, just 37 percent opposed) for comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation--support which has not wavered over the past several months, even in face of an unprecedented misinformation campaign led by polluters. 
 
"Those who wish to avoid any limits on global warming pollution whatsoever are using lies and scare tactics to distract Congress and the American public from the important task at hand," said Pope.  "Fortunately, the public sees right through these arguments and strongly supports plans to reduce emissions--one way or another.  The American people understand what's at stake and know that we don't have any more time to waste when it comes to creating new clean energy jobs, reducing our dangerous dependence on oil, and slashing emissions."

Attacks protect Big Oil, Dirty Coal while blocking clean energy, natural gas

Big polluters and their allies are attempting to maintain the dirty energy status quo by blocking both legislative and common-sense regulatory measures designed to promote affordable clean energy and reduce global warming emissions.  Moving forward with efforts to limit emissions will protect public health, create clean energy jobs, promote renewable energy, and encourage the use of cleaner burning, appropriately produced natural gas instead of continuing to our dangerous dependence on oil and dirty coal.  

"Not only do these misguided efforts from big polluters strike at the heart of the Clean Air Act, they are stalling efforts to build the clean energy economy," said Bruce Nilles, Director of Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign.  "By stopping progress, this assault would not only slow our transition to a clean energy economy, it will also continue to protect Dirty Coal at the expense of renewable energy and cleaner burning natural gas.  States like Arkansas, Louisiana, and Alaska have tremendous natural gas reserves that--along with clean energy--could help renew their state economies and reduce emissions--but only if we start to tackle global warming and get serious about a transition to clean energy."

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