SELC Cheers US Senate Rejection of Anti-Clean Air Act Resolution
The Southern Environmental Law Center applauds action by the U.S. Senate today voting down a proposal that would have prolonged the country’s addiction to fossil fuels even as oil continues to spew into the Gulf of Mexico in the worst man-made environmental disaster in U.S. history.
The resolution proposed by Senator Murkowski (Alaska) would have overturned the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent scientific finding that carbon dioxide and other global warming gases endanger human health and the environment. Based on the finding, the Clean Air Act requires EPA to take steps to reduce those emissions. In April, the agency set higher miles-per-gallon standards for most vehicles, which will avoid burning some 1.8 billion barrels of oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from tailpipes equivalent to removing 50 million cars from the road-as well as save car buyers thousands in fuel costs. The agency has also begun the process to curb greenhouse gases from larger vehicles, and from power plants and large factories. The Murkowski resolution would have halted these much needed actions.
Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb of Virginia, and Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina were among the 53 senators who took the right action today in voting against the proposal.
Statement from SELC Legislative Director Nat Mund:
“This was absolutely the right thing to do, especially as the Gulf crisis reminds us daily of the dire consequences of our continued reliance on fossil fuels. Even beyond oil spills, the systemic and serious impacts of a warming planet are too great not to act.
“We’re grateful to Senators Warner, Webb and Hagan for their leadership. Their actions rest on decades of climate change science and on the evidence we continue to see in the South and around the world that warming temperatures have a very real impact on the waters, plants and other natural systems that sustain us.”