Friday, April 1, 2011

Udall Stands Up for Health, Economic Benefits of Clean Air Act

Law saves thousands of lives every year, spurs clean energy economy

This week, Mark Udall co-sponsored a resolution expressing support for the Clean Air Act, which has greatly reduced air pollution and led to significant improvements in public health.

The Senate is currently considering numerous proposals that would remove or restrict the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to reduce carbon pollution under the Clean Air Act, in addition to House legislation that would affect regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.

The resolution Udall signed, with 33 other senators, recognizes the tremendous health benefits and associated economic gains Americans have enjoyed since the Clear Air Act was signed into law in 1970. For every dollar invested, the law is estimated to provide up to $40 in public health and economic benefits to Americans. Since it was enacted 40 years ago, the Act has saved thousands of lives every year by removing harmful pollutants from the air and reducing the occurrence of diseases such as chronic bronchitis and aggravated asthma. Strong Clean Air Act safeguards cut down on health care costs and lost work days, and spurs investment in pollution-reducing technologies, creating jobs that can’t be shipped overseas. Now, regulation of pollution under the Clean Air Act promises to accelerate the transition to the clean energy economy, which has been one of the bright spots in Colorado ’s climb out of the recession.

“Coloradans understand that a healthy environment and a strong economy go hand in hand,” Udall said. “The Clean Air Act has protected our families and prevented hundreds of thousands of deaths these past four decades. It has helped us reduce mercury in our air and water, fight acid rain and ozone depletion and, as a result, saved lives and helped strengthen our economy. We need to continue implementing one of our country’s landmark environmental laws; not undermine its successes.”