Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sen. Barrasso Wants To Permanently Block Use Of Clean Air Act

By Theodora Filis

Senator John Barrasso has introudced a bill that would permanently block the EPA and every other federal agency from using the Clean Air Act.

Activists say this is part of a coordinated assault to weaken America's clean air standards and block climte action.

The Clean Air Act is the law that defines EPA's responsibilities for protecting and improving the nation's air quality and the stratospheric ozone layer. The last major change in the law, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, was enacted by Congress in 1990. Legislation passed since then has made several minor changes.

In the late 1960s the American public began to demand action on environmental questions. Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine, chairman of the water pollution subcommittee of the Senate Public Works Committee, was one of the first to sponsor the Clean Air Act of 1967.

Muskie led the 1970 fight for tough clean air legislation. The Clean Air Act of 1970 made EPA directly responsible for establishing limits on air pollutants and enforcing them.

Environmentalists in the 1970's had recognized that when it came to pollution, humans were often victims and villains simultaneously. In the case of urban smog, many of those who complained about the health and aesthetic effects of air pollution commuted to work in the very automobiles largely responsible for the problem.

"You've got to have public support for environmental protection or it won't happen," William Doyle Ruckelshaus, first EPA Agency Administrator, from December 1970 to April 1973

Please take action: Tell your members of Congress to reject the "Do ABSOLUTELY Nothing on Climate" Barrasso bill: