EPA Use of Clean Air Act to Address Climate Change
As we approach the 40th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, it is appropriate for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use this law for the agency’s most important and challenging task yet: solving climate change. Decades of success using the act to make America’s communities cleaner and safer can serve as a model of how to tackle climate change.
Public Citizen supports the development of strong, science-based regulations to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, oil refineries and other “smokestack” emitters responsible for 70 percent of our nation’s emissions of pollutants that cause climate change.Public Citizen strongly supports the agency’s efforts to use the Clean Air Act to implement science-based regulations to sharply reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing industrial sources.
Watch: Public Citizen' s Energy Director, Tyson Slocum, testify on the Clean Air Act.
Stripping EPA Authority in House Legislation
Unfortunately, climate legislation passed by the House of Representatives would end the ability of the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. Public Citizen understands why polluters’ lobbyists have tried to eviscerate the EPA’s authority: Because they know that the agency now is largely shielded from the influence of corporate special interests and can therefore concentrate on formulating the regulatory solutions to climate change based on science, not politics.
Attacking Clean Air Act in the Senate
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is attempting to eviscerate the Clean Air Act by filing a disapproval resolution on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) endangerment finding, which was just made final on December 15, 2009. The endangerment finding determined that greenhouse gases threaten public health and safety. The agency must now evaluate what regulations are necessary to protect public health and safety. The disapproval resolution could potentially overturn EPA’s decision on endangerment, effectively hamstringing regulators from addressing climate change.
Read: Letter to Senate to Protect the Clean Air Act
TAKE ACTION: Tell your Senator to Protect the Clean Air Act