On February 9, Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Bobby Rush (D-IL), Ranking Member of the Energy and Power Subcommittee, added yet another voice to the uproar over the proposed “Dirty Air Act.” CAPAF’s Valeri Vasquez has the story.
The draft bill by Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (R-MI) would overturn the scientific finding that carbon dioxide and other pollutants threaten public health and welfare.
Waxman released a white paper from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that describes the significant economic benefits from the Clean Air Act. For instance, implementing the Clean Air Act’s public health protections would potentially amount to “2.8 percent of total U.S. health care costs.” Total annual savings are estimated to be over $50 billion. Translation? Net economic benefits exceeding $1 trillion in 2010 alone, a number projected to reach $2 trillion by 2020.
Employment, too, will be stimulated by the Clean Air Act. Its implementation would open the growing international market for pollution control technologies to American companies by “spurring investment in the design, manufacture, installation, and operation of pollution-reducing technologies.” There’s a veritable Sputnik moment to be had in the “healthy competition” generated by investment in innovative technologies like selective catalytic reduction (SCR).
The EPA white paper delineates how the Dirty Air Act would strike protections that
create American jobs and bolsters the global competitiveness of American industry, even as it lowers healthcare costs and protects American families from birth defects, illnesses, and premature death.
In a letter that accompanied yesterday’s release, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson drove home these points. “The EPA’s priority is safeguarding the health of the American people,” she wrote.
Thank goodness someone is looking out for us.
Read the full white paper and Administrator Jackson’s letter here.
– By Valeri Vasquez, CAPAF Energy Policy Special Assistant.