Sierra Club
Sierra Club Press Release

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June 20, 2012

Contact: Eitan Bencuya, 202-495-3047

Senate Rejects Coal Industry-Backed Attack on Mercury Protections

Inhofe’s Attempt to Cancel Out Life-Saving Protections from Toxic Mercury Fails

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate voted to reject Sen. James Inhofe’s Congressional Review Act (CRA), which sought to block the Environmental Protection Agency's popular Mercury and Air Toxic Standards. Had it passed, Inhofe’s legislation would have blocked the implementation of these new safeguards and would have prevented the EPA from ever issuing standards to protect American families from toxic mercury in the future. 

The vast majority of Americans support these protections and nearly 100 mayors from across the country recently sent a letter to the EPA asking them to protect these rules.

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

“The Sierra Club applauds the U.S. Senate’s sound rejection of Sen. Inhofe’s latest polluter-backed ploy to put the health and safety of American children and families at risk. Because of the Senate’s decisive action today, the EPA will be able to move forward to protect hundreds of thousands of children from this potent brain poison that is linked to severe learning disabilities, deafness, blindness, cerebral palsy and other life-threatening illnesses. Our children will have healthier lives and brighter futures for it.

“But today’s victory does not make Sen. Inhofe’s attack on children’s health any less appalling. Inhofe, a lap dog of the coal industry, and the senators who joined him in favor of attacks on public health would rather represent billionaire polluters than their own constituents.

“We applaud the senators who voted against this contemptible attack on public health. Today’s vote clearly shows who is on the side of American families and who is on the side of those who would poison them.”