Big Oil to Mount (Another) Assault on Clean Air Act

Feeling emboldened with scuttling clean energy and climate legislation for the summer, Big Oil is ready to go on the offensive and gut the Clean Air Act, one of the nation’s most important environmental laws that’s now key to reducing global warming pollution.

This effort led by the likes of the American Petroleum Institute, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Peabody Coal has already taken many forms and NWF is fighting back hard. The latest appears to be a proposal by coal state Senator Jay Rockefeller to freeze EPA action to reduce global warming pollution for two years. He’s looking to attach his bill as an amendment to an energy bill in September. WAPO Clean Air Latourette Final 7-29-10

Oh, but there’s others too. Two weeks ago, NWF helped defeat an amendment to a House appropriations bill by Rep. LaTourette (OH) that would have delayed the EPA from taking action on global warming pollution for four years.  Inset is an ad that ran in the Washington Post (7/29/10) designed to hold Big Oil’s backers accountable for the effort.  More of these attacks are expected and we know Senator Murkowski (AK) is attempting similar efforts on all Senate bills. 

The industry is working all fronts to avoid accounability for their pollution. Last week they tried to petition EPA to overturn the agency’s scientific determination that global warming pollution endangers our public health and welfare. EPA denied the petitions, but they are   part of a court case attacking the EPA’s “endangerment finding” – the key science-based trigger allowing the Clean Air Act to tackle global warming.  NWF is part of the case defending EPA.

We absolutely need to preserve the Clean Air Act to set the nation on a path to reducing carbon pollution. A recent study by World Resource Institute found that through the Clean Air Act the U.S. can reduce its global warming pollution by almost 14% by 2020.