Sept. 22, 2011: Potential Health Impacts of GOP's Assault on Nation's Clean Air
Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Hearing “Regulatory Reform Series #7 - The EPA’s Regulatory Planning, Analysis, and Major Actions”
September 22, 2011
“This week, Republicans have stepped up their assault on clean air and clean energy. Both this Committee and the full House have begun a legislative “repeal-a-thon” that denies the science, delays the regulations and deters efforts to protect the health and security of millions of Americans.
“Take yesterday’s Floor action. We’re having 100-year floods every few years. We have had tornados rip through the country, killing people and destroying property. Hurricanes have caused floods, massive power outages and deaths. Texas is on fire. 48 States have made emergency declarations so far this year. And we have set an all-time record of 83 major disasters declared this year with 3 months of the year still left to go.
“The planet is warming and the weather is worsening. We see it here, with our hurricanes, floods, fires and tornadoes. We see it overseas, where famine in Somalia threatens civil war.
“And how does the Tea Party respond?
“Maybe we can find the money, they say, for disaster relief for people who are suffering, for people who are desperate, for people whose lives have been altered permanently by these disasters.
“But - we’re going to make you pay.
“Do they say we are going to pay by cutting the hundreds of billions of dollars we spent on our nuclear weapons program because we don’t need to build any more nuclear weapons?
“Are we going to cut the tens of billions of dollars in subsidies we give to Big Oil and Coal?
“No we are not going to touch those. We can’t even talk about cutting those.
“What can we talk about?
“We can talk about cutting the clean car factory fund.
“We can talk about cutting the incentives to make super-efficient cars that don’t need the oil sold by potentates in Saudi Arabia and CEOs in Texas.
“We can talk about cutting the program that could remove the need for the very same oil that creates the green house gases that are warming up the planet and causing the disasters that cost more and more money to remedy as each year goes by.
“And as if that wasn’t enough, Republicans are also waging an all-out war on the Clean Air Act.
“This Committee and the House has already passed legislation to prevent EPA from doing anything to reduce the amount of oil used by our cars and trucks.
“And this week, in this Committee and on the Floor, we are considering bills to require endless study of the cumulative impacts of all EPA air regulations on all industries. And then, just for good measure, we’re also going to pass legislation that repeals the regulations that have already been set, extends the deadlines for implementing the rest, and weakens the very underpinnings of the Clean Air Act.
“The Republicans are providing the American people with a false choice.
“We do not have to choose between air quality and air conditioning.
“We do not have to choose between concrete and cancer.
“We do not have to choose between manufacturing and mercury.
“In their insistence that we consider the ‘cumulative’ impacts of all these regulations, there are some cumulative impacts of their actions that Republicans refuse to acknowledge.