The Clean Air Act is not a Bargaining Chip
It’s good to be writing back on Care2 again — but I wish it were under better circumstances. For the last two months, we’ve seen two Senate bills and seven House bills attacking the Clean Air Act. This act has helped Americans breathe easier for the last 40 years. But now, lobbyists from Big Oil, Dirty Coal, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are planning to have it blocked in a comprehensive climate bill. In short, they want to gut the Clean Air Act.
This week, leaks from a closed-door meeting between the forces of industry and Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Lindsay Graham (R-SC), and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) revealed that these polluters might get their wish. The forthcoming Kerry-Graham-Lieberman draft of a climate bill might shred the Clean Air Act and override existing state laws providing environmental protections.
The Kerry-Graham-Lieberman bill is just one more front in a broad campaign by Dirty Coal and Big Oil to protect their profits by destroying the one tool we have right now to cut global warming pollution. All three senators need to hear that, while compromise is the business of the day in a deeply divided Congress like the one we now have, you cannot compromise away the basic environmental protections like the Clean Air Act that have served Americans well since the Nixon Administration.
Whether an ultimate bill is passed or not by the Senate this session, it is critical that we keep the Clean Air Act intact. The Clean Air Act is already being used by the Obama Administration to ease our addiction to oil by tightening fuel mileage standards and beginning to crack down on the oldest, dirtiest coal plants. These are real, tangible actions that need to be preserved – with or without a final, comprehensive climate bill.
1Sky and our allies are standing against these dirty energy lobbyists who want to continue to pollute and not be accountable for their actions. I’m asking you, the Care2 supporter, to get on the phone and call Senator Kerry and Majority Leader Harry Reid, along with the White House, to tell them, “The Clean Air Act isn’t a bargaining chip.”
Why the urgency? A comprehensive clean energy bill outline is due on Tuesday, March 23. We can’t let dirty polluters re-write the Clean Air Act. Otherwise, we’ve lost one of our best resources to fight CO2 and push for a real clean energy future. Leaders in Congress and the Obama Administration must defend the Clean Air Act.