Dems Not Taking Trump’s Repeal of Clean Power Plan Lying Down

This past August, the Trump EPA replaced President Obama’s legacy Clean Power Plan (the mechanism by which the U.S. was to meet its commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement) with the much weaker Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule. While Democrats are in the minority in the U.S. Senate, yesterday they tried to use a seldom-used legal maneuver that requires the signature of just 30 senators to review and overturn ACE.

The Outcome: The so-called disapproval resolution did not pass (41 to 53) as most members of the Senate voted on party lines. However, Democrats were hoping to put on the record those senators who were unwilling to stand up clean air regulations.

The Consequences: The Environmental Defense Fund explained the danger of ACE best:

Experts have warned that under the Trump replacement, called the ACE rule, many parts of the country would also see increases in health-harming sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides pollution that lead to soot and smog. While the Administration has tried to downplay the public health consequences of the new rule, EPA’s projections show that vulnerable communities around the nation will likely suffer the most from these dangerous pollution increases.”

 

Why This Matters: Republican senators were quick to spin that Democrats “are asking us to eliminate good jobs” by refusing to accept the weakened ACE rule. While there’s currently a lot happening in Washington D.C., Democrats shouldn’t let this vote pass without expanding the narrative that any rules that weaken air pollution protections pose an immediate threat to the health of Americans. Just recently it was revealed that air pollution is linked to violent crime, can cause miscarriages in pregnant women, and can equal smoking a pack of cigarettes each day for people in smoggy areas (all things the Clean Power Plan helped to avoid). Air pollution drives up healthcare costs and also poses a risk to our economy–lawmakers who peddle the false equivalency that environmental regulations kill jobs shouldn’t be allowed to keep theirs.

Up Next

Making Plastic From Fracked Natural Gas Could Replace Coal and Steel in Ohio Valley

Making Plastic From Fracked Natural Gas Could Replace Coal and Steel in Ohio Valley

Here in Madrid, the Mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto, touted his city as a green Phoenix, rising from the ashes of the failed steel and coal industries, with a growing economy based on high tech and health care companies and improved air and water quality — the city is turning a corner.  But he pointed out that just up the road Royal Dutch Shell is building a giant, greenhouse gas-spewing plant near Pittsburgh that will (using a process called “ethane cracking”) make tiny plastic pellets that can be turned into items like phone cases, auto parts, and food packaging according to The New York Times.

Why This Matters:  The Pittsburgh plant will be allowed to emit each year 2.25 million tons of carbon dioxide, 522 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and 160 tons of particulate pollution or soot, according to local NGO the Breathe Project.

Continue Reading 573 words
Unprecedented Air Pollution Chokes Sarajevo

Unprecedented Air Pollution Chokes Sarajevo

As the Washington Post reported, “authorities say air pollution in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo has reached dangerous levels in recent days, prompting officials to ban freight vehicles from the roads, cancel all outdoor public events and warn citizens to remain indoors.” The air is virtually unbreathable which has led city officials to reduce coal-fueled […]

Continue Reading 290 words

Tesla’s Not So Unbreakable CyberTruck, GM Electric Trucks To Hit in 2021

On Friday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk “rolled out” the company’s much-anticipated entry into the electric pickup truck market, and it was eye-catching and unconventional, to say the least. Worse yet, the demonstration of the vehicle’s “unbreakable metal” glass windows did not exactly go as planned, when a metal ball thrown at the windows broke them, not once but twice.

Why This Matters:  This truck may be something that tech bros in Silicon Valley would buy.  But does it look like the kind of vehicle that will sell well in the heartland?

Continue Reading 352 words