January 31st Deadline — Tell the EPA: Don't let congressional attacks delay climate change progress.
For decades, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air Act have played an indispensable role in protecting public health.
Today, their ability to do so is under siege from both Republicans and Democrats in Congress — and in the wake of the State of the Union speech, the President's commitment to defending the EPA is looking none-too-strong.
The EPA is accepting comments until January 31st on their proposed timeline for issuing rules to limit pollution from power plants and petroleum refineries — some of the nation's oldest and dirtiest pollution sources — which account for 40% of all U.S. global warming pollution.
Commenting on a timeline may seem a bit wonky, but in the face of mounting pressure from Congress, it's crucial that we encourage the EPA to issue these rules on time and without delay.
The current threats to the EPA are myriad. Senators like Jay Rockefeller and a sobering number of his fellow Democrats are floating proposals to delay for two years the EPA's authority to regulate global warming pollution.
The new Republican congress, elected by unprecedented campaign contributions from polluters in the oil and coal industries, and led by new Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, have set their sights much higher. They are already working to strip the EPA of its climate authority altogether, and generally hamstring EPA's ability to regulate big polluters. Even, or especially, if it means threatening the EPA's funding. Going even further, Newt Gingrich has called for abolishing the EPA entirely.
President Obama meanwhile is clearly feeling the pressure. His State of the Union address included only a passing reference to protecting our air and water, and glaring omissions of climate change, the EPA or even the BP oil disaster.
It is tragic that in the face of rapid escalation of climate change and the occurrence of extreme weather events, not only will congress take no action to address climate pollution; they are actively working to undermine the agency with the greatest ability to make a difference.
Over the next two years, it will largely be up to us to save the EPA's ability to protect us from dangerous pollution. Let's send a strong message of support right now.
Thanks for standing up for the EPA.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager CREDO Action