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Obama Dismantles Clean Air Act
By Phil Radford
Corporate polluters don’t have to worry about dismantling the Clean Air Act, it appears that President Obama is doing it for them.
As Americans prepare for the holiday weekend, President Obama has announced that he doesn’t plan on enforcing a law that would have prevented 12,000 deaths every year by protecting Americans from ozone pollution.
The President, along with Big Oil and the other corporate polluters whose interest he is serving with this decision, are hoping you won’t notice.
Too bad. We’re paying attention and the President needs to know that putting thousands of American lives needlessly at risk is a serious political miscalculation.
Senior members from Obama’s Democratic party were swift in their criticism of the President’s decision. In reaction, Congressman Ed Markey who sits on the House Energy and Commerce committee stated:
“I am disappointed that the President chose to further delay important clean air protections that would have helped to prevent respiratory and cardiac disease in thousands of Americans.”
I too am disappointed in the President’s decision to choose to allow industry to continue to use our skies as a dumping ground for toxic pollutants over the health of the American people.
Send the President a letter right now and let him know that you are holding him accountable for his decision not to enforce ozone pollution protections that would save 12,000 American lives.
On the campaign trail the President talked a lot about holding corporations accountable. This decision today is the opposite of that. He’s actually doing their dirty work for them. And as a result all of us are going to suffer.
If we allow this decision to stand we are paving the way for the President to do continue to gut our environmental protections without any consequences. Whether it is the Keystone XL Pipeline from the tar sands in Canada or continuing to let polluters off the hook for smokestack pollution.
What’s this ozone pollution law all about?
The law in question is called Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards, a law designed to protect our health by limiting pollution that causes respiratory and cardiac illness. The current standards, set by the Bush Administration, were designed to satisfy polluter interests. Which means that every day, kids are breathing air that the government says is safe, but scientists say is harmful.
The Obama Administration was tasked, by law, with updating these standards to protect human lives. In response, groups like the American Petroleum Institute and Chamber of Commerce turned on their lobbying machines to protect their bottom line.
The New York Times spells it out:
Leaders of major business groups—including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, American Petroleum Institute and Business Roundtable—met with Ms. Jackson and with top White House officials earlier this summer seeking to moderate, delay or kill the rule. They told William Daley, the White House chief of staff, that the rule would be very costly to industry and would hurt Mr. Obama’s chances for re-election.
Today, Obama chose to evade his legal and moral responsibility to protect Americans in order to satisfy these corporate interests.
It is not too late. A swift and massive outcry from everyday Americans like you can convince the President to change his mind and choose the health of the people over the bottom line of the nation’s polluting industries.
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