Poll: The EPA, Not Congress Should Determine Air Pollution Standards
Friday, October 21, 2011
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A new poll suggests Congress should butt out when it comes to air pollution standards in America. J. Drake Hamilton, science policy director with Fresh Energy, says the survey found that 75 percent of voters believe the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should be in charge, as it has been for decades.
"For 40 years in the U.S., we've been implementing better standards that keep lead out of our air and out of our kids, that stop acid rain – and now, that are going to regulate the dirtiest of the coal-fired power plants, which is one of our top sources of pollution in Minnesota."
She says public health protections are currently under attack by some in Congress who want to delay requirements that coal plants get updated pollution control equipment. The poll found that clean air is not a partisan issue.
"Eighty-eight percent of Democrats, 85-percent of Independents and 58-percent of Republicans oppose Congress stopping the EPA from setting new limits to control air pollution from coal plants."
Some of Minnesota's coal plants were built at least a half-century ago, and Drake Hamilton says they are sending mercury, carbon dioxide, ozone and particulate pollution into the air and water. That has health impacts in the state, where 240,000 suffer from asthma. One-fourth of them are children, she adds.
"And the pollutants from these coal-fired power plants are triggering more asthma attacks, hospital visits, and then for people with respiratory disease, in some cases, premature death. We think this is unacceptable and it turns out that the voters overwhelmingly support stronger health-based rules."
She notes the Clean Air Act was last updated 21 years ago. At that time, every member of Minnesota's Congressional Delegation supported the legislation.
Information about the poll is on the Fresh Energy website, fresh-energy.org. It was conducted on behalf of Ceres, a nonprofit environmental group.
get more stories like this via email
Voting advocates say more and more Michiganders are choosing to cast absentee ballots to save time and avoid long lines on Election Day. In 2020…
With the election a little over a month away, some say caregiving and long-term care are issues too big for candidates in Oregon to ignore. There …
Health and Wellness
COVID upended many routines, including Texas parents getting kids in for regularly scheduled childhood vaccines. Data from the Texas Department of …
Pennsylvania has a strong commitment to urban agriculture and community gardening, and some groups in the state are working to get more colorful …
Georgia Power is reducing its reliance on coal by phasing out several coal-fired units. However, clean-energy advocates say the company should …
A new report on Black students in the community college system found fewer are signing up to attend two-year schools, and the college enrollment …
Greenhouse gas emissions have been potentially reduced by 50,000 tons in the state, with the help of Wisconsin farmers supported by a statewide …
Social Security benefits again could see their highest increase in several decades, but those advocating for beneficiaries say there is still plenty …