Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Green America Opposes President’s Retreat from Strong Air Pollution Standards

Progress on crucial “smog rule” set back by the Administration, despite the benefits of stronger standards for human health, the environment, and job creation.

September 8, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC -- Green America strongly opposes the President’s September 2 nd retreat from the responsible air pollution controls unanimously recommended by science experts at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The “smog rule” under consideration could have meaningfully lowered the level of smog from 75 parts per billion to as low as 60 parts per billion, thereby saving the lives of and protecting the health of thousands of Americans, including children and the elderly.

Todd Larsen, Climate Director, stated, “Green America supports the work of the EPA to control the levels of ozone and fine particulate matter in our atmosphere, and urges the Agency to fulfill its mandate to safeguard public health and the environment. Last year we supported the EPA’s Transport Rule and National Ambient Air Quality Standards to move our country in the right direction on air pollution control.

The EPA has estimated that setting the smog standard at 60 parts per billion could cost $90 billion annually by 2020, and that it would also generate $100 billion annually by 2020. In terms of health and financial benefits, the stricter standard would strengthen the well-being of the American public.

In addition to the human health benefits of controlling ozone, Green America’s director of strategic outreach, Fran Teplitz, noted: “If the President truly wants to boost job creation, then air pollution regulation is exactly what he should support. We need to move away from our dependence on dirty energy sources and promote innovation and investment in the clean energy sector. Let’s allow sensible regulation like smog control to drive our creativity, investment, and job creation – and make the U.S. more competitive.”

Air pollution seriously jeopardizes our nation’s well-being, especially considering that many of the negative costs are preventable. The EPA documents that thousands of cases of premature death, sickness, emergency room visits, asthma attacks, respiratory illness, and millions of lost work and school days could be avoided through tighter air quality controls.

Larsen concluded, “Whether one considers the profound human health impacts, the environmental damage, the financial costs of medical treatment, or the loss of innovation and job creation – foregoing tough air pollution controls sets us back in every way. Green America strongly urges EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to proceed with the consideration of the smog rule. The EPA needs to protect the American people, not big business and the petroleum lobby.

CONTACT: Todd Larsen at tlarsen@greenamerica.org or 202-872-5310

Green America is a national membership organization dedicated to harnessing economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.

 

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Please contact Todd Larsen by email
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