House GOP lawmakers voted approximately 250 times to weaken the Clean Air Act this past year. In June 2011 Senator Inhofe attempted to gut the Clean Air Act. “Now power plant operators will have to clean up their plants and cut their pollution, which the EPA estimates will save as many as 11,000 lives and prevent as many as 130,000 asthma attacks every year. The value of the air quality improvements for people's health alone totals $37 billion to $90 billion each year. For every dollar spent to reduce this pollution, Americans get $3 to $9 in health benefits.”*
“Particle pollution kills," said Norman H. Edelman, M.D., American Lung Association Chief Medical Officer. “When you breathe these microscopic particles, you are inhaling a noxious mix of chemicals, metals, acid aerosols, ash and soot that is emitted from smokestacks, tailpipes, and other sources. It is toxic and can lead to early death, asthma exacerbations, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and emergency room visits in substantial numbers. Science has proven that we need to protect the public from the dangers of particle pollution.**
When we are afflicted with an illness caused or exacerbated by environmental toxins, productivity at school and work declines, medical costs, stress, and insurance bills, increase. Society pays through higher insurance premiums, increased taxes for government health care expenditures and disability benefits.
Being tagged as having a pre-existing condition is a possibility.
We need to elect candidates who will protect our environment and health with laws that will strengthen rather than weaken them. The Clean Water Act; the Toxic Substances Control Act; the Safe Drinking Water Act are but a few of the laws that need to be protected.
Our best bet for attaining a clean and healthy environment is by supporting Democrats. President Obama, Congressman Chris Murphy in his run for the US Senate and Congressman Himes. The league of Conservation Voters gave both Murphy and Himes top ratings.
In the races for state representatives, Representative Kim Fawcett gets a 100% on her score from the League of Conservation Voters. Both Sue Brand and Heather Dean are strong advocates of a healthy environment and as with Kim Fawcett willing to take leadership roles in both environment and health issues.
Vote Democratic!! Make a difference in our health and pocketbooks! Let’s leave our children a healthy planet!!!
*Peter Lehner, NRA, 6/21/2012
**State of the Air 2011, American Lung Association