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For Immediate Release, March 1, 2011

Contact: Kassie Siegel, (760) 366-2232 x 302

New EPA Report Debunks Congressional Attacks on Clean Air Act,  
Demonstrates Law's Public Health and Economic Benefits

WASHINGTON— A scientific report released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency once again establishes the immense public health and economic benefits of the Clean Air Act. The report, titled The Benefits and Costs of the Clean Air Act from 1990 to 2020, found that Clean Air Act programs to reduce fine particle and ozone pollution prevented more than 160,000 deaths,130,000 heart attacks and 1.7 million asthma attacks in 2010 alone; the economic benefits of those programs will reach approximately $2 trillion by 2020.

“The evidence is in once again — the Clean Air Act saves lives and saves money,” said Kassie Siegel, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute. “You can add the EPA’s latest report to the stack of studies debunking polluters’ flimsy arguments that cleaning up our air is bad for the economy. It’s more clear than ever that voting to gut the Clean Air Act is voting not only to hurt our health and our environment, but our economy too.”

Last week, the Center released a report detailing why the Clean Air Act needs to be harnessed to its fullest extent to significantly address climate change. The report, titled The Clean Air Act Works, highlights the Clean Air Act’s 40-year track record of achieving comprehensive and cost-effective reductions in air pollution and details additional action the EPA must take to achieve necessary greenhouse gas pollution reductions.

The Act is under intense assault in Congress, which recently voted to strip funding from EPA programs aimed at reducing carbon pollution. The Act’s opponents have relied on unsupported arguments that reducing greenhouse gases hurts the economy — arguments that have been repeatedly disproven, including by today’s detailed report from the EPA.

“The Clean Air Act is the single-most important pollution law in this nation. We must use it urgently and ambitiously to cut carbon pollution, save lives and protect the air we breathe,” said Siegel.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 320,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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