Levin Opposes Republican Measure to Weaken Clean Air Act

Apr 7, 2011 Issues: Energy


(Washington D.C.)- U.S. Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) has submitted the following statement into the Congressional Record on H.R. 910, which would amend the Clean Air Act to prevent EPA from regulating greenhouse gases in any effort to address climate change. Rep. Levin today voted against the bill, which passed the House with unanimous Republican support.

“Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the legislation before the House, which would weaken the Clean Air Act and the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to protect public health and the environment from carbon pollution.

“The scientific community has been telling us for years, with growing urgency, that greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to changes in the climate and that the impact of these changes will be overwhelmingly negative going forward.  There is a lot of room for a constructive debate on what the U.S. response should be to the buildup of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere.  Our response cannot be to simply deny the existence of the problem.

“But that is exactly what the bill before the House does.  This legislation rejects the scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and overturns EPA’s scientific finding that carbon pollution endangers public health and the environment.  In a word, this bill would take a fundamentally anti-science dogma and enshrine it into public law.  It is the legislative equivalent of sticking our heads in the sand.

“We’ve heard a lot of overheated rhetoric by the proponents of this bill that protecting the American people from carbon pollution amounts to some kind of job-killing tax increase that will make gasoline and electricity cost more.  In fact, the rules EPA is developing seek to curb carbon pollution by the very largest emitters in this country over a period of many years.  We’re talking about facilities that emit more than 75,000 tons of carbon into the air each year.  In most cases, the new rules will simply require these facilities to make energy efficiency improvements. As we’ve seen in so many other areas, investments in energy efficiency often pay for themselves and actually create jobs.

“H.R. 910 is opposed by scientists, public health groups, environmentalists, sporting organizations like Trout Unlimited, as well as the UAW and the Blue/Green Alliance.  This legislation should be rejected.”