For Immediate Release, September 1, 2009
EPA Takes Another Step Toward Implementing Clean Air Act to Address Global Warming Crisis
WASHINGTON— The Environmental Protection Agency has sent a draft rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget entitled “Prevention of Significant Deterioration/Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule,” that will specify permitting procedures for stationary sources of greenhouse pollution under the Clean Air Act. A proposal to reduce pollution from automobiles under the Clean Air Act is expected shortly, with a final decision by March 2010.
“The Clean Air Act has protected the air we breathe for four decades and is our strongest existing tool for reducing greenhouse pollution. The Obama administration should move quickly to reduce greenhouse pollution with these successful existing programs, and Congress must ensure that new federal climate legislation retains the Clean Air Act’s critical safety net,” said Kassie Siegel, director of the Climate Law Institute at the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity.
According to the EPA, in 2010, the Clean Air Act’s regulation of traditional air pollution will save 23,000 lives and prevent 1.7 million asthma attacks, 4.1 million lost work days, and more than 68,000 hospitalizations and emergency-room visits. And in its first two decades alone, the Act provided benefits 42 times greater than the estimated costs of regulation, including decreased health-care costs and reduced lost work time worth $22.2 trillion. Similar benefits can be expected if the Act is applied to greenhouse gas emissions, as the law requires.
Last week, a broad coalition of more than 300 faith, human-rights, social justice, indigenous, and environmental groups sent a letter to U.S. senators calling for energy and climate legislation that maintains existing Clean Air Act protections against global warming pollution. This week, community members are hand-delivering that letter to senate offices across the country as part of a grassroots mobilization demonstrating far-reaching support for bold leadership in the fight to solve the climate crisis.