Washington, D.C.– Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today questioned the House Republican majority’s vote to approve H.R. 910, the Dirty Air Act, which forbids the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate pollutants it deems “greenhouse gases.” The bill declares that greenhouse gases are not air pollutants, attempting to overturn a 2007 Supreme Court ruling to the contrary in EPA v. Massachusetts.
“Using gas prices as an excuse to pass a polluter-friendly deregulation scheme is dishonest and pointless,” Grijalva said after the vote. “This corporate giveaway is dirty in every sense of the word. Republicans aren’t even bothering to pretend this bill creates jobs or helps the economy. This is about rewarding campaign donors, not the American people.”
H.R. 910 would formally bar the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons. Carbon dioxide is known to the scientific community as the biggest contributor to global warming, and methane is known to be about 21 times stronger as a warming agency than carbon dioxide.
Attempts to deregulate clean air programs will have an adverse effect on public health and the economy. According to the American Lung Association, the Clean Air Act – which gives the EPA the authority to regulate carbon dioxide, according to the EPA v. Massachusetts ruling – saved more than 160,000 lives in 2010 alone. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the EPA, new carbon dioxide and fuel efficiency standards for model years 2012-2016 will save Americans 77 billion gallons of fuel over the life of the vehicles, representing more than $240 billion in economic benefits.
“Republicans are trying to claw back every public health and fuel efficiency advance we’ve made in the past 30 years,” Grijalva said. “This bill is part of that corporate-first agenda, and I’m proud to have voted against it.”