WASHINGTON (February 9, 2011) – More than 2,500 U.S. scientists sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to reject legislation that would undermine an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finding under the Clean Air Act that heat-trapping emissions are altering the climate and endangering public health.
The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing this morning to consider the latest and one of the most extreme attacks on the Clean Air Act: a bill introduced by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) that would prevent the EPA from responding to its “endangerment finding” regarding carbon dioxide and prevent the agency from developing new tailpipe standards for the nation’s cars and trucks.
“Because the EPA’s finding is based on solid science, any effort to prevent or delay the agency from taking action to reduce global warming emissions is a rejection of that science,” the letter states. “We urge you to oppose attacks on the Clean Air Act by respecting the scientific integrity of the EPA’s endangerment finding, and the agency’s authority to act based on this finding.”
The scientists’ letter also pointed out that the Clean Air Act has prevented more than 400,000 premature deaths and hundreds of millions of cases of respiratory and cardiovascular disease over the 40 years it has been in effect.
The Union of Concerned Scientists, which organized the letter, first sent it to Congress with some 500 signatories on March 1, 2010. The signers represent every state, the District of Columbia and several territories.