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As we all know: The Clean Air Act has been under heavy assault as of late. With a recent legislation proposing to abolish The Clean Air Act, our health and the environment are at stake. With the abolishment of The Clean Air Act, EPA is facing a potential budget cut of nearly one third of its total funds. To make matters worse, the proposed bill is pushing to cut other important environmental initiatives, including:

  • Protecting the public from destruction caused by mountaintop mining.
  • Allowing the public to review offshore drilling permits.
  • Prohibiting oil companies from being exempt to the Clean Air Act while drilling in the Arctic.
  • The restoration and protection of Chesapeake Bay

If the proposed legislation becomes law, the EPA, as we know it, will be completely decimated.  Our air quality, water, and public land quality will be jeopardized. The impact of this bill will ripple through time, negatively affecting generations to come. Without The Clean Air Act, polluters can freely spew mercury into the air we breathe, arsenic into the water we drink, and asbestos and other waste into the reserves that feed our land. Environmental toxins will permeate through the environment, silently ravaging our ecosystem.

The potential health threat this legislation present s is staggering. With an increase in pollution and environmental toxins comes an increase in the number of annual children diagnosed with asthma, brain cancer, mesothelioma, and other serious health problems.  Asthma, even for adults, is one of the largest contributors to work and school absenteeism. The illness results in almost 15 million lost workdays each year. Furthermore, mesothelioma symptoms (a rare cancer that forms on the lining of the lungs) are often mistaken for symptoms of asthma. When this affliction is left undiagnosed, the mesothelioma life expectancy does not generally exceed 14 months.

The fate of the Clean Air Act will be at stake this week as the discussion over government spending ramps up at Capitol Hill. There was a “climate science” meeting this Tuesday, where some of the top climate scientists were able to testify on behalf of the importance of the Clean Air Act.  This meeting, held by The House Energy and Commerce Committee, was the stage for a battle between representatives of the EPA and proponents of the legislation

Representative Ed Whitfield spoke on behalf of the proposed bill at the hearing. He contends that The Clean Air Act will continue to have an adverse effect on the U.S. economy. He furthermore believes that The Clean Air Act is counterproductive because it just forces U.S. manufacturers to relocate to China where they will use environmentally destructive practices anyway.

According to the climate scientists, there is a general consensus that climate change is in fact occurring, with human’s being the main cause. Full committee Chairman, Henry Waxman, drove this point home during Tuesday’s climate science meeting, stating:

The Hill Reports:

“Human-induced climate change is happening, we are already seeing its effects, and harm from climate change is growing,” full committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said in his opening remarks.

And Waxman slammed climate skeptics, arguing they are putting public health at risk by seeking to block EPA’s climate regulations.

“If my doctor told me I had cancer, I wouldn’t scour the country to find someone to tell me that I don’t need to worry about it,” Waxman said. “Just because I didn’t feel gravely ill yet, I wouldn’t assume that my doctor was falsifying the data.”

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