As we continue to patiently await President Obamas’ next action about the Clean Air Act rule the administration perpetuates delay. 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.
The pressure is on to force the (EPA) to move swiftly to make full use of the Clean Air Act to reduce carbon in the atmosphere. “Communities from every corner of America are urging President Obama to wield the Clean Air Act against catastrophic climate change,” said Rose Braz, the Center’s climate campaigns director.
Increasing chaotic patterns of weather across the nation  has caused citizens across the nation to sit forward in their chairs. Reeling news has reached the worlds attention to Hurricane Katrina, and most recently Hurricane Sandy (2012) that reached inward land as far as Wisconsin and Michigan who felt the impact. Sandy affected 24 states primarily the east coast stretching from Cuba to Ontario Canada. Preliminary estimates assessed damage at nearly $75 billion dollars, a total surpassed only by Hurricane Katrina-$81 billion dollars (2005).
Congress is also once again taking aim at the Clean Air Act’s authority to reduce carbon pollution through an amendment inserted into the latest budget debate. Pressure from big polluters is the largest obstacle our nation has against Moving America Forward on Climate Change in the United States. President Obama took the nation by surprise when he mentioned “Climate Change” in his last State of the Union Address. The fact is that real money and real concerns exist for our nation to take action!
On Feb. 1, 2009, newly elected President Obama told Matt Lauer of the Today Show that:
“Look, I’m at the start of my administration. One nice thing about the situation I find myself in is that I will be held accountable.”
 The concerns of hotter summers, extreme storm surges, and arctic ice caps melting are creating a disproportionate imbalance of unnatural catastrophes. Obama’s four years are up and the American people voted him in for another four more years. We need to hold him to his word!
Good News: The Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign is working around the country to encourage cities to pass resolutions supporting the Clean Air Act and using the Act to reduce carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million, the level scientists say is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Similar resolutions have been approved in Albany and Ithaca, N.Y.; Berkeley, Santa Monica, Culver City, Arcata, Oxnard, Santa Cruz, Richmond, San Francisco, San Leandro and Los Angeles, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New Hope Borough, Pa.; Tucson, Ariz.; Boone, N.C.; Keene, N.H.; Portland, Maine; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Milwaukee and Madison, Wis.; Cambridge and Northampton, Mass.; Cincinnati and Oberlin, Ohio; Santa Fe, N.M.; Kansas City, Mo.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Miami, Broward County, Pinecrest, Tampa and Gulfport, Fla.; Chicago, Ill.; Teton County, Wyo.; Eugene, Ore.; Nashville, Tenn.; Kauai, Hawaii; Boulder, Colo.; Burlington, Vt.; Detroit, Mich.; Wilmington, Del.; Providence, R.I.; Gary, Ind.; Woodbridge, N.J; and Washington, D.C. Several other cities around the country will be considering resolutions over the next few months.
From Clean Air to Clean Water Action
Well, it’s a day that ends in “y”, so you know what that means – polluters and their allies in Congress are using the budget to defund or weaken environmental protections. Tell your Senators to oppose any amendments to the FY 2014 budget resolution that would weaken vital environmental programs.
Slipping back-door amendments into the budget without hearings or full debate is a terrible way to set environmental policy. Unfortunately, we expect to see dozens of “riders” offered in the upcoming Senate budget debate that would put the health of our water, air, and communities at risk. You can help us make sure those amendments don’t pass – send a message to your Senators today and tell them to stand up for a pro-environment budget!
Some of the possible riders would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from protecting communities impacted by toxic coal ash, from finalizing protections for the sources of drinking water for 117 million Americans, and from moving forward with plans to cut greenhouse gases and toxic air emissions.
Tell your Senators, “enough is enough” and demand that they reject any amendments to the FY 2014 Budget Resolution that would weaken environmental protections. Back-door budget riders are a bad idea. Tell your Senator to vote NO on any budget amendments that would weaken protections for our environment and our health!
Yours for Clean Water,
-Bob Wendelgass, President & CEO