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April 6, 2011

Contact: Maggie Kao, 202-675-2384

Senate Defeats Multiple Assaults on Clean Air Act
Battle for Clean Air and Water will Continue in Budget Debates

Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate beat back multiple assaults on the Clean Air Act and attempts to handcuff the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to protect Americans from toxic pollution.

The most egregious of these attacks, offered by Senator McConnell, would permanently remove EPA authority over GHG emissions and weaken fuel economy standards, failed 50 to 50 -- 60 votes were required for passage. Other bills which would needlessly delay, block or narrow EPA’s commonsense public health protections received limited support.

In response, Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club released the following statement:

“The Senate’s defeat of four bills aimed at gutting the Clean Air Act demonstrates a short-term victory for Americans who want clean air and safe drinking water.

“Had this attack on the CAA been successful,it would have put the health of millions of Americans at risk. Senators who voted in favor of any of these bills owe an explanation to their constituents about why they have voted for the interests of corporate polluters over the health and well-being of their communities.

“Unfortunately, the battle for Americans’ health, air and water, is not over. Corporate polluters and their friends in Congress are pushing a dangerous agenda to gut the Clean Air Act, and are holding EPA health protections hostage in the must-pass federal budget negotiations this week.

“Even more outrageous, this polluter-funded effort to hijack the budget will include generous government handouts to Big Oil and other corporate interests. Polluters’ grab for taxpayer dollars will do nothing to create jobs and will put our health at risk.

“We urge Congress to reject this political gambit that endangers millions of Americans and jeopardizes our economy, and we urge President Obama to veto any legislation aimed at gutting the Clean Air Act.”


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