April 7, 2011

Senate Defeats Multiple Assaults on Clean Air Act

April 7, 2011
Contact: Tiffany Hartung (231) 747-7489

Senate Defeats Multiple Assaults on Clean Air Act

Senators Stabenow and Levin Vote Against Clean Air and Water

Washington, D.C. - Yesterday, the U.S. Senate beat back multiple assaults on the Clean Air Act and attempts to handcuff the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to protect Americans from toxic pollution.

Senator Stabenow sponsored and voted in support of the Stabenow/Brown amendment block EPA's permitting authority for the largest polluters for two years.  This amendment would allow EPA to issue standards for power plants and refineries but would delay the legal effectiveness of these regulations for two years.

Senator Levin voted in support of the Baucus amendment which needlessly limits the facilities regulated under the EPA's permitting authority for global warming pollution.  This bill allows EPA to proceed with power plant and refinery regulations.
The most egregious of the attacks, offered by Senator McConnell, would permanently remove EPA authority over GHG emissions and weaken fuel economy standards, failed 50 to 50. Other bills which would needlessly delay, block or narrow EPA's commonsense public health protections received limited support. 

Sierra Club Michigan Chapter Director Anne Woiwode released the following statement in response to today's vote:
"The Senate's defeat of four bills aimed at gutting the Clean Air Act demonstrates a short-term victory for Americans who want clean air and safe drinking water.

"Had this attack on the CAA been successful, it would have put the health of millions of Americans at risk. Senators Levin and Stabenow and other legislators who voted in favor of any of these bills owe an explanation to their constituents about why they have voted for the interests of corporate polluters over the health and well-being of their communities. The message is clear: Sen. Levin and Stabenow believe oil and coal companies' profits are more important than clean air and water.

"Unfortunately, the battle for Americans' health, air and water, is not over. Corporate polluters and their friends in Congress are pushing a dangerous agenda to gut the Clean Air Act, and are holding EPA health protections hostage in the must-pass federal budget negotiations this week.

"Even more outrageous, this polluter-funded effort to hijack the budget will include generous government handouts to Big Oil and other corporate interests.  Polluters' grab for taxpayer dollars will do nothing to create jobs and will put our health at risk.

"We urge Congress to reject this political gambit that endangers millions of Americans and jeopardizes our economy, and we urge President Obama to veto any legislation aimed at gutting the Clean Air Act."

McConnell Amendment #183:Total Supporting - 50
Republicans Supporting: Scott Brown, Kirk, Snowe,
Democrats Opposing: Manchin, Ben Nelson, Pryor, Landrieu,
Republicans Opposing: Collins voted against

Rockefeller Amendment  #215:Total Supporting - 12
Scott Brown, Collins, Johnson, Conrad, Landrieu, Manchin, McCaskill, Ben Nelson, Pryor, Rockefeller, Webb, Graham

Stabenow-Brown  #277:Total Supporting - 7
Sherrod Brown, Casey, Johnson, Pryor, Stabenow, Conrad, Klobuchar

Baucus #236:Total Supporting - 7
Baucus, Hagan, Conrad, Klobuchar, Begich, Johnson, Levin