Big Polluters Continue Their Hold on Congress
The polluter stranglehold on the House of Representatives continued today. Three members of the Republican Congressional leadership sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget requesting that the White House stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from issuing new (and first ever) air pollution performance standards that would limit the climate-change causing carbon pollution spewing from power plant smokestacks across the country.
Power plants are the nation’s single largest source of climate change causing air pollution pumping roughly 2.4B tons of carbon dioxide into the air each year. Setting standards to limit this air pollution are critically needed to tackle the climate crisis and two recent Supreme Court rulings (2007 and 2011) have said the Clean Air Act requires the EPA to set these standards.
The new letter, however, continues the 2011 House track record of seeking rollbacks to the Clean Air Act. It is also another classic example of how big polluters are running Washington.
Here is a quick glance at the big polluter connection to the letters’ three authors – all members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
- Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), Chairman, House Energy & Commerce Committee. Top Industry Sector 2012 election cycle supporter: Electric Utilities.
Among Largest Contributors: Southern Co., DTE Energy.
- Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Chair, House Energy & Commerce Cmte., Energy & Power Subcommittee. Top Industry Sector 2012 election cycle supporter: Electric Utilities. Among Largest Contributors: Southern Co.
- Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX). Top Industry Sector 2012 election cycle supporter: Electric Utilities. Among Largest Contributors: American Electric Power.
Of course, EPA’s new database on carbon pollution emissions shows that key contributors Southern Co., DTE Energy and American Electric Power (AEP) own a total of five of the nation’s ten largest carbon polluting power plants.
You can help NWF fight back against the big polluters. Take action now to support the new limits on power plant carbon pollution.