Protecting the Air We Breathe Not A Priority?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010 (Listed under Environment)

Alaska Senator, Lisa Murkowski's amendment to prohibit the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases sounds so familiar. It wasn't too long ago that the Bush Administration regularly disregarded the pioneering air and water quality protections enacted before George himself even entered college. While still in high-school, serious-minded lawmakers like Edmund Muskie labored with colleagues late into the evenings to pass landmark socio-environmental legislation, including the Clean Air Act of 1963, and later, the Air Quality Act of 1967; the Clean Air Act Extension of 1970; and the many amendments to the original Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948, beginning in 1961.

Bush's failure to enforce air and water regulations, the result of lawmaking triumphs that consumed the careers of courageous congressional leaders, is linked today to the increasingly unhealthy air my son and I must breathe in North Texas. The 2007 Supreme Court ruling stating that the Clean Air Act can be used to curb climate change emissions, such as those from the coal-fired electrical power plants south and west of Dallas, must not be undermined because of the self-guided, myopic interests of an Alaskan Senator who fails to understand the all-important link between environmental protection and a sustainable U.S. economy capable of providing green-collar jobs, breathable air, and increased energy independence.


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