Leading health groups oppose Upton’s proposal to block EPA’s clean air safeguards

Pete Altman, in a repost from NRDC’s Switchboard blog.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton is ignoring Americans’ support for the health protections from pollution and pushing a proposal that would allow power plants and other big plants to dump unlimited amounts of dangerous carbon pollution into our air. As I mentioned earlier this week, the nation’s leading public health experts and organizations recognize carbon and other greenhouse pollution as a serious health threat.

That’s why health groups have wasted no time in slamming Chairman Upton’s bill. Here are some of the statements I’ve found Thursday:

American Lung Association:

“The enactment of Chairman Fred Upton’s bill would strip away Clean Air Act protections that safeguard Americans and their families from air pollution that puts their lives at risk. The protections against the health harm from carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas pollution are essential to public health and must be preserved.” – Charles D. Connor, President and Chief Executive Officer

American Public Health Association:

“The public health community is very concerned about the long-term health consequences of global climate change”¦Blocking EPA’s authority to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases could mean the difference between chronic debilitating illness or a healthy life for countless Americans.”

– Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), Executive Director

Trust for America’s Health:

“TFAH is incredibly concerned that the proposed legislation will eliminate current protective measures that address the health impact of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas pollution”¦The science says carbon pollution is bad for our health.  Rolling back EPA’s ability to protect the public from this threat literally has life and death stakes.”

– Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director

Health Care Without Harm:

“Failure to allow the EPA to safeguard our air directly threatens thousands of people with asthma and other chronic illnesses, including children.  With one out of 10 children in the United States affected by asthma, we don’t have to look farther than our own neighborhoods to see the suffering and actual risk to life caused by polluted air.  Nothing could instill fear in a parent like a child unable to breathe.”

– Gary Cohen, President

“Nurses understand and have seen first-hand in our nation’s emergency rooms, hospitals, and communities the devastation caused by air pollution. The public’s health should not suffer while members of Congress put corporate profits ahead of the public’s health.”

– Brenda Afzal, MS, RN, Climate Policy Director

Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments:

“We express our profound distress about the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s legislation that would limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to set clean air standards to reduce air pollutants under the Clean Air Act.

The broader health implications of blocking clean air standards for green house gas emissions include respiratory diseases such as asthma, allergies, cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke, heat related morbidity and mortality, mental health stress, neurological diseases, vector and water borne diseases, and weather borne morbidity and mortality…Our policy makers must understand that any bill that prevents the EPA from doing its job of protecting our air and water and through the Clean Air Act is a threat to public health and an additional cost that America’s health cannot afford.”

– Barbara Sattler, RN, Dr.PH, FAAN

This repost is from NRDC’s Switchboard blog, by Pete Altman, NRDC’s Climate Campaign Director.

15 Responses to Leading health groups oppose Upton’s proposal to block EPA’s clean air safeguards

  1. Sou says:

    It’s a strange mob you’ve got in your country. Since they failed to make sure sick children and workers die by revoking the health reforms, they now want to make healthy people sick by increasing air pollution.

    How do they think up these ideas? Are they getting worried about Club of Rome concerns and decided to go on a population reduction kick?

  2. Mark says:

    The need to control CO2 emissions is made more urgent by the latest research on the Amazon as some of the UK press are pointing out

  3. Joan Savage says:

    This morning the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (Press Releases subpage) has a dead links to all material (summary, etc.) of the draft proposal.

    Examples of dead links:
    Upton, Whitfield, Inhofe Unveil Energy Tax Prevention Act to Protect America’s Jobs & Families
    Link to “The Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011”
    Link to Upton-Inhofe One Pager
    Link to Upton-Inhofe Section by Section Summary
    Link to Upton-Inhofe Myth vs. Fact

  4. Sime says:

    Does this guy Fred Upton breath air like the rest of humanity or has he had a Darth Vader type mask permanently fitted?

    Outside of the US it’s like your watching a once great country regress back into the dark ages!

    Totally unbelievable, and all in the name of greed, with no thought what so ever for the American people or their children.

  5. Climate change will require that the world adopt a different economic system that respects the commons, which includes the environment.

    Climate change will require intense regulation to protect the atmosphere, and thus mankind and other living things.

    Climate change will expose the inequities of the current economic system.

    Mother Nature is conspiring to unravel everything the right wing treasures. Power and money. To them, all other considerations are rescinded.

    But Mother Nature will have her way. Resistance is futile.

  6. Prokaryotes says:

    Upton’s website once stated: “I strongly believe that everything must be on the table as we seek to reduce carbon emissions.”[2] In April 2009, he maintained that “[c]limate change is a serious problem that necessitates serious solutions. Everything must be on the table.”[3] However, “Upton has gradually retreated from his moderate stance on climate change and carbon emissions.”[2] In late 2010, he co-authored a Wall Street Journal editorial saying he was “not convinced” that “carbon is a problem in need of regulation,” and urging Congress to overturn EPA regulations of greenhouse gases.[4]

    Upton promoted the banning of incandescent lamp bulbs in the U.S., in favor of compact fluorescent lamps, which resulted in Comedian Dennis Miller’s jovial comment on his radio program: “I don’t care what my electric bill is. I haven’t worked my entire life so that my living room can look like a Soviet Bloc stairwell during a James Bond fight scene.”

  7. catman306 says:

    I would have expected health insurance companies to really hate this bill. It will cost health insurance much money, perhaps billions over several years.

  8. Prokaryotes says:

    The Curious Case of Fred Upton

    We all know a Fred Upton.

    He’s the coworker who was your friend until he got promoted and “went corporate.” He’s the athlete who played to bring a championship to his home town before following a larger contract to a bigger city. He’s the buddy who was always around until he got into a relationship and didn’t have time for you any more.

    Fred Upton is the Republican congressman who used to have interesting ideas about reducing emissions and fighting climate change. But then he ran for chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Now, he has staffed his committee with lobbyists and today he is introducing a bill that seeks to roll back Clean Air Act protections against pollution from factories and power plants.

  9. dhogaza says:

    I would have expected health insurance companies to really hate this bill. It will cost health insurance much money, perhaps billions over several year

    They’ll just raise premiums even faster …

  10. Mike Roddy says:

    This article, and the following one from Weiss, show just how corrupt
    we have become. I don’t know how you fix this, since the media seem
    content to go along.

  11. Colorado Bob says:

    Scientists say an underwater blob of goo off the Florida Panhandle coast isn’t oil, but rather a mass of dead plankton, algae and bacteria.

    The underwater mass of dead sea life, at least three feet thick and spanning 2/3 of a mile off to the coast, appears to be growing as microscopic algae and bacteria get trapped in it and die, the Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune reported Wednesday.

  12. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Colorado Bob, the anoxic ocean dead-zones are one of, say, a dozen civilization if not species’ killers all emerging, as long predicted by science, right now. I note that the tone of much of the discourse is still of the, ‘It’s getting really nasty out there-we better do something soon’ type, when in fact the catastrophe has long passed ‘tipping-points’ and ‘points of no return’. The MSM in Australia, after everything that has happened, up to and including yet more ferocious floods in Victoria today, and record daily rainfalls in several places, is still locked firmly in obdurate denial. Rupert Moloch’s ‘The Fundament’ (aka The Australian) has reverted to its trick of only publishing shrill denialist idiocy. Possibly they are getting so few denialist tracts that they are forced to publish idiocy and ignorance, or perhaps it’s deliberate effrontery of the ‘We don’t care how dumb we look-we are the winners!’type. Humanity’s one wafer thin slice of hope is that we get rid of the destructive psychopaths who rule the planet through their money power, preferably ten years ago, and spend every cent we can raise by liquidating their omnicidal ‘assets’ on saving our necks. Even then it will mean decades if not centuries of effort, and we will simply not have the luxury of tolerating the sabotage of those who prefer money to life.

  13. Upton’s actions are made all the more reckless with the knowledge gains continuing to show the damage caused to health and environment from such emissions. Energy policy needs to be redirected sharply in order that such attempts at savings made in the energy sector do not result in additional costs to the public from growing health issues.