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For Immediate Release, April 7, 2011

Contact: Bill Snape,, (202) 536-9351

House Passes Legislation to Gut America’s Most Important Pollution Law

Clean Air Act Is a Vital Tool in Improving Human Health, Reducing Dangerous Greenhouse Gas Pollution

WASHINGTON— The U.S. House of Representatives today voted to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing a U.S. Supreme Court order and curbing carbon dioxide and other dangerous greenhouse gas pollutants under the Clean Air Act. The vote flies in the face of strong public support for the EPA, the Clean Air Act and tougher standards for greenhouse pollutants contributing to global warming and climate disruptions around the world. 

“Rather than voting to protect our health, environment and future, the House today gave polluters a free pass when it comes to greenhouse gas pollution,” said Bill Snape, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The Clean Air Act has a 40-year track record of saving lives, saving money and achieving comprehensive reductions in air pollution. The Act can also help avoid the worst effects of runaway global warming, but only if politicians don’t stand in the way.”

A recent survey conducted for the American Lung Association found that three out of four voters support the EPA setting tougher standards on air pollutants, including mercury, smog and CO2, and 64 percent oppose congressional action, such as that taken today, to stop the EPA from setting new limits on CO2 pollution. Also, 69 percent said that EPA scientists, rather than Congress, should set pollution standards. 

Today’s legislation would prohibit the EPA from reducing greenhouse pollutants such as CO2, methane and nitrous oxide under the Clean Air Act. The legislation would repeal steps the agency has already taken to reduce carbon pollution from our nation’s biggest polluters, including refineries and power plants. The bill was initially unveiled in draft form by House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) following a closed-door meeting with polluters.

“This bill is a boon for polluters and a bust for those who value clean air, a healthy climate and a livable future for our planet,” Snape said. “Now it’s up to the Senate and the president to stand up to big polluters and their congressional allies and protect our air, health and climate.”

To learn more about the Clean Air Act — and read a “Myth Versus Reality” fact sheet — go here.

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