Snark: to annoy or irritate

"Snark" has been in English language dictionaries since at least 1906, and Lewis Carroll used the word to describe a mythological animal in his poem, The Hunting of the Snark (1874). Most recently, the word has come to characterize snappish, sarcastic, or mean-spirited comments or actions directed at those who annoy or irritate us.

At first, this blog was just going be a place to gripe, but because it's more satisfying to take action than it is to merely complain, now most of the posts/reposts suggest ways to get involved in solving problems.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Attack on Clean Air Act

On Tuesday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is expected to force a vote in the Senate to prevent the EPA from implementing its life-saving Cross State Air Pollution rule.
Because the Tea Party darling Sen. Paul is using an obscure procedural tactic called the Congressional Review Act, he only needs 51 votes to pass the law to handcuff the EPA from enforcing the Clean Air Act.1
Support in the Senate for the Clean Air Act is extremely tenuous. Please make sure your Senators know you expect them to protect your health and reject the Tea Party's attack on clean air.
The Congressional Review Act — created by none other than Newt Gingrich — allows simple majority votes in congress to overturn recent agency rules.
The president can veto the congressional attack on his rules, and ordinarily we would expect him to. But given President Obama's massive, politically motivated cave on the EPA's ozone rule in September, we can't be confident that he would veto.2
We need 50 senators to vote to protect clean air. That's possible, but could be extremely difficult. As we saw this April — when 17 Democrats joined 47 Republicans to vote for rules to weaken, block or delay the Clean Air Act3 — there is not majority support for clean air in the Senate.

Smog and particulate matter pollution from power plants, creates ozone in the air that causes premature death, lung disease and aggravates asthma.
The Cross State Air Pollution rule is a needed update to a 2005 Bush-Administration rule that federal courts found too weak. The rule would reduce air pollution from 27 states that contribute to air pollution and dangerous ozone levels in other states. In so doing, EPA estimates that this rule will, by 2014, save tens of thousands of lives and prevent hundreds of thousands of cases of aggravated asthma, every year.4
It's astonishing that that doesn't mean much to Rand Paul, who despite some controversy5, claims to be a doctor. Help make sure your Senator knows it means something to you.
Thank you for fighting for clean air.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
1. "Rand Paul Makes His Move on Air Rule," Politico, September 15, 2011
2. "Obama's Ozone Standards Retreat Angers Environmental Groups, Ignores Science," Huffington Post, September 2, 2011
3. "Seventeen Dirty Democrats Join Senate GOP Climate Zombies," Think Progress, April 6, 2011
4. "Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR)," Environmental Protection Agency
5. "Rand Paul's Doctor Credentials Questioned for Lacking Top Board's Certification," Associated Press, June 14, 2011

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