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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 14, 2010

Contact: David Willett (202) 675-6698

Sierra Club Cheers Lisa Jackson's Celebration of the Clean Air Act
Clean Air Act Works to Cut Dangerous Pollution, Protect Health, Spur Innovation

WASHINGTON, DC- The Sierra Club praises Administrator Lisa Jackson and others for marking the 40th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, a law that has saved lives and provided billions of dollars in benefits to the U.S.

The celebration comes as some in Congress are considering weakening this landmark law--seeking to bail out polluters who continue to lobby for loopholes and giveaways that put Americans' health and safety at risk. The Sierra Club applauds Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson for her commitment to continuing the Clean Air Act’s excellent track record of protecting human and environmental health.

Statement of Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune

As we mark 40 years of cleaner air under the Clean Air Act, it is heartbreaking that we must also fight to protect this monumental law from attack.  Weakening this landmark safeguard would put public health at risk and jeopardize long-overdue action to hold the biggest polluters accountable, reduce America’s oil dependence, and jump-start a vibrant clean energy economy. 

The Clean Air Act prevents tens of thousands of Americans from dying prematurely, millions of asthma attacks, and avoid thousands of cases of bronchitis.  It saves tens of billions of dollars through the prevention of millions of lost work days, days when Americans would have had to restrict outdoor activities due to excessive air pollution, and hospital visits.  That means lower costs and real dollar savings in addition to the obvious health benefits.  

But as we face climate disruption, we will need to strengthen, not weaken, the Clean Air Act.  We still see Code Red unsafe air warnings in the summer and higher asthma rates among children and adults.  We have learned much about global warming and the health effects of air pollution since the Clean Air Act was written. We applaud Administrator Lisa Jackson and EPA for their continued commitment to the Clean Air .

And we remain deeply concerned about efforts by polluters to weaken the Clean Air Act or the EPA's ability to reduce air pollution and protect public health.   Our air is cleaner today because of this law, not in spite of it.  The oil drilling and coal mining disasters of this year are stark reminders that these polluting industries need more accountability, not less.  Congress must not pass any legislation to weaken the Clean Air Act.  

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