Guest post by Harriet Shugarman, Climate Mama
Historically, and throughout most of my lifetime, fighting for clean air has been a non-partisan issue. In the early 1970′s the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established under the leadership of President Richard Nixon, a Republican, as were the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. The first international agreement to protect the atmosphere from man-made greenhouse gas pollutants, the Montreal Protocol, was conceived, fought for and came into force in 1989 under the leadership of President Ronald Regan, a Republican.
Bi-partisanship support has been successful in cleaning up our air and our water. Yet, over much of the lifetime of my two teenage children, fighting for clean air has taken on a decidedly partisan hue. To me, this makes no sense whatsoever, as pollution knows no physical boundaries. Whether you live in a blue or red state, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, which are largely invisible to the eye, cannot be stopped by some invisible state border.
According to Moms Clean Air Force partner, the American Lung Association, my state, New Jersey, has some of the most polluted air in the country. My teenage son was recently diagnosed with asthma. Over the past three years, my Republican Governor, Chris Christie, takes the opposite direction of fighting to clean up our air and our clean water. He is actively fighting against enforcing legislation that would stop neighboring state power plants from emitting certain greenhouse gas pollutants. And he has vetoed bi-partisan state legislation that would stop neighboring states from being allowed to bring toxic fracking waste into my state.
Since the late 1980′s, the relationship between man-made greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and climate change has become incredibly clear. This is based overwhelmingly on scientific, fact based evidence, as well as evidence Mother Nature is presenting to us. At the same time, as this relationship has become more transparent, politics have began to play a key role in keeping solutions from being established and acted upon.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the landmark national and regional legislation created in recent years to curb greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants, and how these programs and policies are now taking on a partisan bent all around our country:
While we wait for our political representatives to be ”good neighbors,” let’s continue to remind them: clean air is NOT, nor should it be, a partisan issue. Parents need ALL political persuasions to join us in fighting for clean air and a clean energy future for ALL of our children!
You can take action now by signing and sharing the petition telling EPA you support new limits on carbon pollution.
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