Wednesday, June 9, 2010

KEEP OUR AIR CLEAN - call Senator Jim Webb at 202-224-4024 today and ask him to oppose the Murkowski Resolution.

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Good evening,

We have almost 24 hours to stop another corporate bailout in Washington DC. This one's not for Wall Street - it is for Big Polluters. We don't need to look any further than the incident in the Gulf of Mexico or the tragedy at the Massey coal mine in West Virginia to see that our over reliance on fossil fuels is not just dirty, it's dangerous as well.

We don't have time to wait. I need you to call Senator Jim Webb at 202-224-4024 today and ask him to oppose the Murkowski Resolution.

Background

Senator Murkowski’s Congressional Review Act resolution (S.J.R. 26) would overturn EPA’s scientific finding that global warming pollutants endanger human health and the environment. She has accurately explained on the Senate floor, “My resolution would stop the endangerment finding. In general terms, I’m proposing that Congress veto it.”

EPA issued its “endangerment finding” for the pollutants that are fueling global warming last December in response to the 2007 Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts vs. EPA, in which the Court ruled that global warming pollutants are covered by the Clean Air Act. Without the endangerment finding, EPA cannot take action under the Clean Air Act – the law of the land for addressing air pollution problems – to limit these pollutants from any source (cars, power plants, etc.).

The Congressional Review Act is a rarely used law passed as part of then-Speaker Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America that provides Congress expedited procedures to void agency rules. It has only successfully been used once (to throw out Clinton administration ergonomics rules). Senator Murkowski needs a majority vote to pass her resolution.

The Cost to Americans
Just when the Gulf oil disaster highlights the urgent need to end America’s oil dependence, Senator Murkowski’s resolution would bring President Obama’s historic clean vehicles initiatives to a halt. Doing so would reduce the oil savings benefits of the clean car standards finalized this April by at least a quarter (450 million barrels), according to EPA, and block additional steps to cut our oil dependence – including those the President announced on May 21 in the Rose Garden.

All told, the impact on our oil dependence would be substantial because the Clean Air Act is the country’s most powerful policy tool to cut oil use through emission standards for vehicles (which can go further than the Department of Transportation’s fuel economy standards) and low-carbon transportation fuels.


But the Clean Air Act wasn't meant to fight global warming...

The Clean Air Act was designed to curb air pollution and address new dangers as they are identified by modern science. The Clean Air Act was always intended to cover a wide variety of dangerous air pollutants. In the beginning, clean air standards covered only five pollutants. But EPA has been doing its job for the last 40 years and, based on the science, now protects the public from dozens of additional dangerous pollutants.

In addition to dismantling President Obama’s clean vehicles initiatives, Senator Murkowski’s resolution would block new, just-finalized global warming pollution permitting standards for large smokestack industries.
EPA’s new rule, which begins to take effect in 2011, requires coal-fired power plants (by far the nation’s largest source of the pollution), oil refineries, and other large polluters to use available technology to cut pollution when new facilities are constructed or existing facilities are upgraded in ways that increase pollution. EPA has made absolutely clear that it does not intend to regulate small sources. The resolution also would block all other existing and to-be-developed Clean Air Act limits on global warming pollution.

Can you make the call today to Senator Webb at 202-224-4024 and ask him to oppose the Murkowski Resolution?

Thanks,
JR

P.S. - Senator Warner has stated publicly he will oppose this assault on the Clean Air Act. Your call to Senator Webb could tip the scales in our favor.

P.P.S. - If you don't mind - please reply to let me know you made a call.

--
J.R. Tolbert, Advocate
Environment Virginia
422 East Franklin Street, Suite 302
Richmond, VA 23219
706-594-5487
jrtolbert@environmentvirginia.org


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