Image: Sudika via Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA
The EPA has been put through hell this week -- first, there were the Congressional hearings in which the new chairman of the House Energy Committee, along with others, railed against the expanded Clean Air Act rules that would hold the nation's biggest polluters to stricter standards. Then, the GOP announced its proposals for cutting the budget. And there, on the top of the chopping block, was the EPA. Thankfully, the nation's scientists and health professionals are standing up to voice their support -- 4,500 of them from all 50 states sent separate letters to Congress asking that, for the good of the nation, the standards be upheld. According to CP, the letter from the health professionals (doctors, clinicians, etc) asked Congress to "fulfill the promise of clean, healthy air for all Americans to breathe. Support full implementation of the Clean Air Act and resist any efforts to weaken, delay or block progress toward a healthier future for all Americans."
Indeed. That's because the new Clean Air Act rules won't just cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, but they'll cut down on other harmful pollutants as well -- and save millions of lives in the long term.
The scientists' letter focused on the need to curb carbon emissions as soon as possible:
The scientific evidence overwhelmingly suggests that climate change poses a clear threat to public health. Numerous scientific studies...show that if heat-trapping emissions continue unabated, global warming is likely to cause more extreme heat in our cities, severe water shortages, loss of species, hazards to coasts from sea level rise, and extreme weather. The economic and social costs of such impacts are potentially calamitous.The opposition to implementing new, cleaner standards for polluting companies is opposed primarily by Republicans, utilities, and energy companies, who claim that it will kill jobs. Earlier today, I posted a lengthy treatise on why this simply isn't the case. Implementing the new rules will even create many temporary jobs for technicians, construction workers, and engineers.
There's absolutely no good reason the new pollution controls shouldn't go forward -- remember, 77% of Americans support the EPA. It's great to see the nation's scientists and health pros joining the fight.