What’s the most important issue for you this election? The economy? Energy? Immigration? You’re probably not thinking about “clean air,” since there’s wouldn’t much of an election — or country — without it. Still, new research by the NRDC Action Fund found that a whopping 193 House members and 39 Senators voted against preserving clean air standards every time an opportunity came across their desk.
These politicians must have invested in sophisticated artificial respiratory systems because unless I’m mistaken, they too need clean air to survive. No special technology? Well then, it must be the massive amount of campaign contributions these “dirty air villains” took from the country’s biggest polluter’s that’s made them so flippant when it comes to clean air.
The NRDC Action Fund analysis found that on average, House members who took more than $100,000 in polluter campaign contributions voted against clean air laws nearly twice as many times as those who took less from dirty industries. In the Senate, members taking more than $500,000 in career polluter campaign contributions voted against clean air laws three times as often as those taking less, on average. Contributions data was obtained from OpenSecrets in August, 2012.
All 193 Dirty Air Villains in the House are Republican. In the Senate, 37 Republicans and two Democrats voted down the line against clean air.
If you’ve ever doubted the impact that corporately-funded elections are having on your life, this is a blatant example. Regardless of how much a candidate claims to have the best interests of the people and country in mind, it’s absolutely essential to uncover who’s padding their pockets and how they’re voting on the issues that really matter. Clean air? Since when is that a partisan issue?! WE ALL NEED TO BREATHE.
The American Lung Association’s “State of the Air 2012″ report found that although the Clean Air Act has helped improve air quality in many areas (and saved $22 trillion in health care costs), over 127 million people — 41 percent of the nation — still suffer pollution levels that are too often dangerous to breathe.
“Our analysis reveals the full extent of Big Polluters’ reach into Congress, where some members, especially in the Tea party-influenced House, do not miss a single opportunity to side with the dirty industry, leaving the rest of us to fend for ourselves,” said Heather Taylor, director of the NRDC Action Fund. ”Our data will help people send a strong message to office-seekers: We want representatives in Congress who put the public first, not polluters.”
Want to know how your Congresspeople and Senators voted? Check out the full list at WhoVotesDirty.com. Make a list of the politicians that voted against your right to breathe clean air, and vote them out of office on November 6th.
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