Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Seminar: Trashing EPA

The Sierra Club of SE PA proudly presents:

Wednesday January 25, 2012 at 6:45 PM
The Free Library of Philadelphia
19th and Vine Sts, 4th Floor
Contact: wbrainerd3(at)gmail.com

Professor Amy Sinden, Temple Law School, returns to talk about the attempt by some in Congress to de-fund and dis-empower the US Environmental Protection Agency, chief protector of clean air and water. Even President Obama has been forced to postpone new regulations clearly beneficial to public health.

Jeanette MacNeille of Sierra Club’s Pennsylvania Clean Air Campaign will speak about local efforts to support the EPA.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stop Mercury And Air Toxics From Power Plants

Benefits of Standards
On December 16, the Environmental Protection Agency will finalize its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Each year it will reduce or prevent hundreds of thousands of illnesses and 17,000 premature deaths. The EPA estimates the standards will cost $11.4 billion to implement, but that the health benefits will range between $59 billion and $140 billion in 2016.

Utility Industry Response
The utility industry claims that these standards will increase electricity rates and result in the loss of thousands of jobs. It relies principally upon modeling done by the National Economic Research Associates.

Crying Wolf
Polluters have been claiming for decades that environmental regulations will result in the loss of jobs and hurt the economy. Decades of studies have shown that these claims are baseless. Eban Goodstein, Professor of Economics at Lewis and Clark College, reports that "the great majority of studies which have examined this issue find that jobs created in environmental and related sectors more than balance jobs lost as a result of higher regulatory costs, leading to small net employment gains economy-wide." An MIT study [pdf] reached the same conclusion.

Take Action
The utility industry is urging citizens to write their senators and representatives to block the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Citizens concerned about the environment and public health need to make their voices heard. Contact william.kramer (at) sierraclub.org to get background materials so you can write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Write today!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Blue Green Alliance Fishing Trip

Sunset on Fishing TripLindsay Patterson, President of United Steel Workers (USW) Local 404, needed a break from the hard work of negotiating a new contract for his union, and what better way to relax than a fishing trip! On October 23rd, Lindsay and other steelworkers from the union joined members of the Pennsylvania Clean Air Campaign on the Queen Mary, an ocean-going pleasure fishing vessel berthed in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. The trip was a great success, both because of the fun we had catching a large haul of bluefish and because of the discussion of concerns shared by unions and environmentalists - both members of the Blue Green Alliance.

During the trip out to the fishing grounds, unionists and environmentalist had the opportunity to get to know one another - and exchange fish stories - in an informal setting. After about an hour's sailing, we set anchor and fished for several hours. Although it initially appeared that our shipmate Eric was going to catch all of the fish on the reef, we all eventually started getting bites, resulting in a haul of over sixty bluefish.

Exchange of Ideas
On the trip back to port, we met to discuss the issues that interest both unions and the Sierra Club, and how important our alliance is for everyone on the trip. Lindsay initially spoke of how environmental regulations help to secure good, American, green jobs. Lindsay has a long history of involvement in the Blue-Green Alliance, and spoke convincingly of the urgent need for unions to work with the Sierra Club to support upcoming EPA regulations. He further emphasized the importance of taking action, and provided the group with literature about how to get involved in supporting green jobs initiatives.

Next, William Kramer, the Sierra Club field organizer for the Pennsylvania Clean Air Campaign, lent his support to Lindsay's message, and outlined our current campaign for putting pressure on our legislators to support the EPA. In particular, he explained the importance of the mercury rules for keeping our fish healthy and mercury-free. William then recruited those in the audience to join our team of writers, who are submitting letters to the editor for publication in local news media, and to join us in public events to support the EPA. The evening ended with a renewed understanding of how important the affiliation between unions and the Sierra Club is (not to mention, the added bonus of a bounty of bluefish fillets for each participant).

For additional pictures of the trip, take a look at the fishing trip album at PAcleanAir's Flickr photostream.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pennsylvania Streams Run with Mercury

Join Us at a Rally to Let Senator Casey Know You Support Mercury Regulations

Mercury Fouls Over 70 Streams and Lakes
The Pennsylvania Fish Commission lists 75 streams and lakes that have fish contaminated with mercury. It recommends against eating more than two meals a month of fish caught in those waters.

Pennsylvania Power Plants Major Source of Mercury
When PennEnvironment reviewed the EPA's data, it found that Pennsylvania power plants were the second largest contributors of mercury. Only Texas contributed more.

Mercury Jeopardizes Over 300,000 Infants Each Year
The mercury in the blood of a pregnant woman affects the fetus within her womb. The EPA has found that over 300,000 babies are born each year with an increased risk of disabilities due to mercury exposure.

Sierra Club Strongly Supports Mercury Rule
The Sierra Club has spoken out against the mercury spewing from coal fired power plants.

Rally with us in front of Senator Bob Casey's office at 20th and Market Streets in downtown Philadelphia to support the Mercury Rule proposed by the EPA. Supporters will gather at 8:00 AM on Wednesday, November 2, 2011.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Welcoming Overdue Mercury Standards

It's time for the EPA to stand up for kids.

Mary Anne Hitt By Mary Anne Hitt

As a mother with a toddler, I'm always trying to protect my daughter. From choking hazards to toxic household chemicals, from busy streets to steep stairs, there are a lot of dangers that keep us parents on our toes. Unfortunately, there are some toxins our children get exposed to before they are even born.

Mercury is a particularly harmful air toxin that spews from the smokestacks at coal-fired power plants into our waterways. From there, it builds up in the environment and in the fish we eat. It's a potent neurotoxin that's especially dangerous to children and embryos. Being exposed to mercury in the womb can harm a child's ability to walk, talk, read, and write.

Mercury contaminates fish, which can poison us. Just one gram of mercury deposited from the atmosphere per year, over time, is enough to contaminate a 20-acre lake so severely that its fish will become unsafe to eat on a regular basis. Yet 48 tons of this deadly chemical are being pumped into our air each and every year from coal-fired power plants alone. It's the largest domestic source of unregulated mercury emissions in the United States.

The mercury problem is so widespread that, according to studies by the Environmental Protection Agency, at least 1 in 12 — and as many as 1 in 6 — American women of childbearing age have enough mercury in their bodies to put a fetus at risk of developmental problems. That means that over 300,000 babies are born each year at risk of mercury poisoning. These statistics scared me when I was pregnant and still shock me.

Thankfully, the Obama administration is expected to move forward soon with new, long-awaited protections from mercury based on recommendations from the EPA. Right now, there are no national limits on the amount of airborne toxins that coal-fired power plants can spew into the air. These new protections are poised to reduce mercury pollution by over 90 percent. But they're not in place yet.

Our families are paying for the costs of toxic air pollution with these sometimes deadly health problems, as well as unfishable rivers, lakes, and streams. Study after study shows that to protect public health, polluters must significantly reduce the amount of toxic air coming out of their smokestacks.

We need the EPA to protect us from mercury pollution with national limits for power plants. It's not just parents and grandparents who should care. If you're an avid angler, how tired are you of all the advisories against eating the fish you catch? Cleaning up mercury means safer fish, fewer cases of learning disabilities, and reduced incidence of heart disease.

Strong mercury standards will also help our economy. New protections can reduce the costs of health care for people sick from toxic pollution, and they can create jobs installing pollution-control equipment in power plants. Putting these national protections in place isn't rocket science.

In fact, most other industries are already meeting national mercury standards. Some states got so tired of waiting for federal action that they have enacted their own mercury standards for coal plants. The coal industry has enjoyed this national loophole for decades. Closing it is long overdue.

The EPA's mission is to develop and enforce much-needed safeguards to keep polluters from making us sick. Dirty energy corporations are putting their bottom lines before our children's health.

I know I can't raise my daughter in a completely pollution-free world, but I can protect her from the worst of it by encouraging the EPA to stand up for kids. We need the Obama administration to protect American families by holding Big Coal and corporate polluters accountable.

It's high time the government put mercury safeguards in place for our children's health.

Mary Anne Hitt is the Director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign. beyondcoal.org
Cross-Posted from OtherWords (OtherWords.org)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More Responses To TRAIN Act

The passage of the TRAIN Act has driven more readers to write to their local newspapers.

Mary Alice Cicerale
Rally Opposing TRAIN Act

I attended a Sierra Club rally [on September 27] in downtown Philadelphia in protest of U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s plans to wipe out basic public health protections against life-threatening pollution such as arsenic, carbon dioxide, coal ash, soot, smog and toxic mercury.

I was joined by over 50 other Pennsylvanians who are outraged at this attack on public health and the environment. Based on polls I have read I believe most Pennsylvanians agree with us. Even Governor Rendell was there to lend his voice and support to our cause!

Pollution Hurts Economy

Cantor and far right Republicans claim their plan will boost the economy by creating jobs, but in reality, it will cost hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money and tens of thousands of lives! The bedrock public health protections his plan will dismantle will hurt the economy, making it even tougher for families to make ends meet – forcing many Americans to collectively miss millions of days of work each year to care for sick family members or for themselves. It will also waste billions of taxpayer dollars treating preventable illness and disease caused by pollution, and will further burden American families and businesses with out-of-pocket medical costs and higher health insurance premiums.

Hurting The EPA Hurts Us

The Environmental Protection Agency has a critical role to play in protecting the public from toxic mercury and asthma attacks brought on by smog pollution, and in keeping our air and water safe and clean. But Rep. Cantor wont’ let the EPA do what it was created to accomplish. His plan will put American lives at risk to score political points with polluters and Congress should reject these polluter-led attacks on the health of our families, children and communities and focus on real solutions that can grow the economy.

By preserving the basic clean air and clean water protections that Americans have counted on for decades, we can ensure healthy families and a strong economy.

Janet Cooke

Clean Environment Critical To Our Future

As a new grandma, with a grandson, 2 ½, and a granddaughter, 4 months, there is nothing more important to me than insuring that this planet we inhabit will continue to have clean air, water and land. It is imperative that we continue to support the EPA and all its efforts to protect these resources for all of us - now and for the future.

TRAIN Act Wrecks Environment

Regrettably, a majority of members of the U.S. House recently passed the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act, which would seriously undermine the EPA's efforts to promote clean air. We can only hope that it will not pass the Senate. Everything great that we aspire to as individuals and as a nation depends on the Earth remaining a healthy planet. I urge everyone to please tell their elected officials that to oppose the TRAIN Act and any attempts to weaken the EPA

Leslie Sell
TRAIN Act Wrecks The EPA

On September 23, Congressmen Jim Gerlach, Patrick Meehan, and Mike Fitzpatrick, helped the US House of Representatives succeed in passing the Train Act (H.R. 2401). This anti-clean air legislation intended to thwart EPA regulations and shut down the ability of the EPA to carry out its mandate would, among other things, indefinitely delay (until 2018) two critical and long-awaited air pollution standards, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard and the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. Furthermore, setting of standards would require consideration of the economic impact on polluters and would no longer be based solely on the expert opinion of the medical and scientific community. This legislation is a disastrous setback to the environment and to our health.

The EPA Has Saved Lives

The EPA, established under Republican President Richard Nixon in response to a series of environmental disasters, has been enormously effective in providing air quality and health benefits. Through its landmark clean air programs, the EPA has been responsible for preventing 1.7 million asthma exacerbations and 160,000 deaths in 2010 alone. The EPA is not a “rogue agency” responsible for high-priced energy, loss of jobs, or dependence on foreign fossil fuels. Let’s let the EPA do its job unencumbered by political rhetoric and the moneyed influence of big polluters, and let us remember the actions of these congressmen at the voting booth.

Michael McFarlin
Downtown Rally
I recently attended a rally in downtown Philadelphia to draw attention to U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's plans to wipe out basic public health protections against life-threatening pollution such as toxic mercury, arsenic, soot, smog, carbon dioxide and coal ash. I was joined by over 50 other like-minded Pennsylvanians and our message touched hundreds of others.

Outrage at TRAIN Act
I was absolutely outraged that this attack on public health and the environment was ever formalized into a bill, let alone that the Republican majority in the House passed it. Based on polls I have read, I believe most Pennsylvanians agree with us but I am very concerned that many are not aware of what is happening. In fact, over 70% of the country and a majority of Republicans say protecting the environment is critical.

Costs of TRAIN Act
Cantor and extremist Republicans claim their plan will create jobs, but in reality, it will cost tens of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money. His plan to dismantle critical public health protections will hurt the economy and make it tougher for families to make ends meet – forcing Americans to collectively miss millions of days of work each year to care for sick family members or for themselves. It will also waste billions of taxpayer dollars treating preventable illness and disease caused by pollution, and will further burden American families and businesses with out-of-pocket medical costs and higher health insurance premiums.

Public Health At Risk
The Environmental Protection Agency has a critical role to play in protecting the public from toxic mercury, asthma attacks brought on by smog pollution and keeping our air and water safe and clean. Rep. Cantor wants to put American lives at risk to score political points with polluters and Congress should reject these polluter-led attacks on the health of our communities, families and children and focus on real solutions that grow the economy.

We Need The EPA
By preserving the basic clean air and clean water protections that Americans have counted on for decades, we can ensure healthy families and a strong economy. Before Pennsylvania has even met the much-needed standards of the Clean Air Act, Cantor and his cronies are seeking, through a series of legislative measures, to frack the bedrock upon which the foundations of existing environmental policies rest. This cannot stand. To draw a timely comparison, if the Environmental Protection Agency's role as a protector of the environment is dismantled, a shining stone of hope will be crumbled into a mountain of despair. I would hope all will support the EPA, and their power to breathe, with their power to vote!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

TRAIN Act Will Wreck Environment

When House Republicans passed the TRAIN Act, four of our readers spoke out in letters to the editors of their local papers.

Steve Harvey

TRAIN Act Crippling: The House of Representatives recently passed the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act of 2011, which would disable key provisions of the Clean Air Act. The TRAIN Act is designed to cripple the EPA. It would add layers of bureaucracy before the EPA can act to control industrial emissions. It would derail important new air quality standards. At a time when the air in the Philadelphia region is recognized as near the worst in the country, this is very bad news.

Partisanship At Play: Why was the TRAIN Act opposed by most House Democrats and yet supported by all but four Republicans, including all Republican representatives from the Philadelphia region (Fitzpatrick, Gerlach, LoBiondo, Meehan, and Runyan)? When did the environment become a strictly partisan matter?

Protecting Environment Is Bi-partisan Issue: The Clean Air Act was signed by President Nixon in 1970 and expanded by 1990 amendments that were championed by President George H.W. Bush. We need a return to a saner time, when Republicans joined with Democrats in support of clean air. We cannot afford to have the environment become yet another political football.

Sue Edwards

Clean Air Rules Are Good For Health: The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the TRAIN Act, which could indefinitely postpone clean air regulations that would protect us from mercury, soot, and toxins in the air we have to breathe.

50 Rally In Protest: In response to this assault on our health, 50 of us rallied outside U.S. Senator Bob Casey's office, asking that he lead the charge in the Senate to stop this ill-conceived bill, which asks us to give up our right to healthy, breathable air as a supposed trade-off for jobs.

Polluters’ Smokescreen: The idea that regulations are "job-killing," a mantra being repeated by Republican representatives, is a smokescreen to allow big polluters to get away with business as usual while the public is left to carry the costs of asthma, heart disease, birth defects, and other impacts that dirty air makes worse.

This letter cross-posted from philly.com,

Peter Barnes

Hard Being Jobless: Jobs for Lives? Who are politicians really serving? I know it is rough out there when it comes to jobs. Although I have a great job today, I was laid off at the beginning of this recession. Even with my job today, I’m making half of what I used to make. I understand the importance of jobs as much as anyone.

Harder Suffering Pollution: But that kind of mad-hatter politics, endangering your own constituents to save a few jobs for companies who pollute our air and water, is literally sickening. I have tried to avoid the topic of politics these days because of all of the divisiveness in the air and how sharply divided friends and even family seem to be. However, when I learned about the potential impact of the TRAIN Act proposed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, I attended the first rally I’d been to in years.

Rally Supporting The EPA: The Sierra Club called about the rally. With a name like “Rally for Clean Air,” how could I say no? It was downtown in front of Senator Casey’s office to support the EPA. It felt great to see so many other people who care.

TRAIN Headed For A Wreck: This TRAIN ACT is the most underhanded political trick I have ever read about, billed as a job saver that will take away restrictions on companies that pollute the air and water with mercury and other deadly contaminants. So essentially he is saying let’s save a few jobs and let’s ignore the safety of Americans. Shame on you Eric Cantor. Cutting the power of the EPA at times like these and giving big business free reign to pollute, is like letting little children play with matches with no Mom around to watch them.

Get Off The TRAIN: Please protect our air and water. SAY NO to the TRAIN Act, H.R. 2401, and keep an eye on what the kids with matches are up to in the House. Using a down turn in the economy as an excuse to pollute is bad no matter what side of the political fence you sit on. Stop that TRAIN Act, I want to get off!

Chara Armon

Meehan Is Wrong: On Sept. 23, Representative Pat Meehan voted for legislation that exposes Americans to toxic mercury and will increase asthma attacks brought on by smog pollution.

Meehan claims that the costs of basic pollution protections that Pennsylvanians and all Americans have relied on for 40 years are too high. If signed into law, the TRAIN Act (H.R. 2401) will cost 34,000 lives.

Healthy Economy Requires Healthy People: America's economy can't be healthy if America's people are sick. Allowing corporations to dump toxic pollution into the air our children and our families breathe, will not help the economy recover. I applaud President Obama for his vow to veto this bill and urge our senators to reject the House's reckless attack on American values and clean air.

This letter cross-posted from philly.com,

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sierra Club and Clean Air Council Rally Against the TRAIN Act

Public Health, Environmental Organizations Call for an End to Attempts to Gut Environmental Safeguards at Philadelphia Rally

Angered by the passage of the TRAIN Act in the U.S. House of Representatives, major public health advocacy and environmental groups rallied at 5:30 pm on September 27th outside of U.S. Senator Bob Casey’s office to call for an end to right-wing attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In one of the largest environmental rallies in recent years, over 50 activists called on Congress to halt efforts to undermine forty years of public health victories thanks to the EPA and landmark protections like the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.

Republican Attacks

The Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act (H.R. 2401) is the most dangerous in a recent tide of Republican-sponsored bills that threaten to expose Americans to harmful pollutants in our air and water. Over the last several years, right-wing Republicans in Congress have declared war on the EPA, introducing legislation that would defund the agency, dismantle it or strip it of its authority to safeguard the American public. Major Republican presidential candidates have stated repeatedly that the EPA should be defunded or eliminated, which would gut decades of environmental legislation.

Speakers: Governor Rendell

The activists were joined by former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who urged them to keep raising their voices against far-right Republicans in Congress. “ Regulations don’t hurt jobs---they create them”, he said.

Speakers: William Kramer

“Our representatives voted in favor of this bill and against protecting our families from dangerous and deadly pollution,” said William Kramer, an organizing representative with the Sierra Club. “We need to tell our Congressmen, especially Patrick Meehan, James Gerlach, and Michael Fitzpatrick, that American families want clean air and water that is safe to drink.”

Speakers: Professor Amy Sinden

“We’ve had enough of these attempts to roll back the protections that keep us safe,” said Temple University Professor Amy Sinden. “ This right-wing war on the EPA won't save jobs or help the economy and will instead hurt jobs and damage the economy while at the same time making people sick and damaging our most important natural resources. It’s time to stand up and tell Congress that we want the EPA to continue keeping us safe from polluters.”

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Protect Our Environment: Defend The EPA

The Sierra Club is rallying at the office of Senator Casey (20th and Market Streets) at 5:30 PM on Tuesday, September 27. Guest contributor Steve Harvey explains the importance of this event:

Attack On Environmental Regulations

As you may be aware, extreme right wing Republicans in Congress have declared war on the Environmental Protection Agency. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor last week sent a memo to House Republicans that identifies ten supposedly "job-killing" regulations that he wants to target this fall and winter. Can you guess how many of these regulations involve the EPA? 7 out of 10. (Two involve the NLRB and one involves health care.)

Attack On The EPA

These same extreme right wing Republicans have declared that they want to drastically cut funding for the EPA. Their strategy is to underfund the EPA so it will not be able to do anything about regulating greenhouse gases. And several of the Republican presidential candidates have proudly and loudly boasted that they want to all but eliminate the EPA. And of course they deny that human activity is causing climate change, despite all the science to the contrary.

Jobs vs. Economy Is False Choice

This is a radical agenda that is being driven by Tea Party politics. The war on the EPA won't save jobs or help the economy. It will hurt jobs and hurt the economy while at the same time making people sick and damaging our most important natural resources -- air, water, and soil (no, not coal, gas, and oil). This war on the EPA is not about protecting jobs; it's about protecting the profits of corporate polluters who donate large sums of money to extreme right wing Republicans. War on the EPA may be good for the profits of corporate polluters, but it's bad for the economy. It's bad for our quality of life. It's bad for our children.

Bowing To A Minority

What bothers me most about all of this is that it is being driven by a minority of citizens. An extremely vocal minority of Americans with a bunch of really bad ideas can make their voices heard and can shape government policy in a very bad way, while the majority of us sit by and wonder why this is happening. This has got to change and I believe we can change it.

Fighting Back

Right now we are planning a rally to be held in Philadelphia on September 27 at 5:30 p.m. at Senator Casey's office at 2000 Market Street (at the corner of 20th and Market) in downtown Philadelphia. The title of the rally is Protect Our Environment: Defend the EPA. It's being coordinated by Sierra Club organizer William Kramer. We will also be doing a delegation visit up to Senator Casey's office at 4:30 pm so if you are available to join us for that please let us know. We want Senator Casey to know that we will stand behind him and other responsible elected officials as they stand up and defend the EPA.

Support The Rally

Will you please do two things: (1) put the date on your calendar and plan on joining us for one hour to attend the rally, and (2) help with some phone banking to convince others to join us? Our goal is to get at least 30 people to attend the rally. Wouldn't it be great if we had far more than that? The objective is to get press coverage of the rally to bring attention to the extreme right wing Republicans' war on the EPA.

We plan to phone bank on September 21, 22, and 26 from 5:30 to 9. You can do it any or all of those nights. We are going to meet at a location in downtown Philadelphia to make the calls (Clean Air Council, 135 S. 19th Street) or YOU CAN EVEN DO IT FROM YOUR OWN HOME. Last week I made calls from home while watching the Phillies game. It's really easy to do. We can train you how to make the calls in about 5 minutes.

Let Us Hear From You

If you can attend the rally on September 27, contact William Kramer, william.kramer(at)sierraclub.org. If you can help with the phone bank, contact Steve Harvey, steve.steveharvey.harvey(at)gmail.com.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ozone Hurts Now: Postponing Regulation Hurts Milions

On September 2, President Obama ordered the EPA to withdraw the Ozone Rule, a proposed regulation that would have protected millions of Americans from smog and pollution. The President has heard from those that generate the smog and pollution. He needs to hear from the millions of Americans who suffer from ground level ozone.

Ozone Hurts Millions

Ground level ozone is part of the smog that plagues our country, particularly during the summer. The EPA has summarized its harmful effects:

Breathing ozone, a primary component of smog, can trigger a variety of health problems including chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion. It can worsen bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Ground-level ozone also can reduce lung function and inflame the linings of the lungs. Repeated exposure may permanently scar lung tissue.

Ground-level ozone also damages vegetation and ecosystems. In the United States alone, ozone is responsible for an estimated $500 million in reduced crop production each year.

Sierra Club’s Response

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune expressed his disappointment in the president’s decision:

"The Sierra Club condemns the Obama administration's decision to delay critical, long-overdue protections from smog, an acidic air pollutant that when inhaled is like getting a sunburn on your lungs. By putting the interest of coal and oil polluters first, the White House seems to be saying that 'clean air will have to wait.'

"A healthy economy requires clean air and healthy people, and these protections from smog would have improved our communities and saved billions of dollars in health costs. Half of U.S. families live in places where it is literally unsafe to breathe the air, and kicking the inhaler down the road will do nothing to protect our children.”

Your Chance To Respond

The Tea Party’s concerns are daily headlines. We need to hear your concerns about smog and pollution. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Tell how you have been affected by ozone action days. Sample letters are below but your own words are much more effective. When you send a letter, direct a copy to Bryan Crenshaw, ebciii(at)bcrenshaw.com and William Kramer, william.kramer(at)sierraclub.org.

Sample Letters

Obama's Delay Means More Sick Kids

To the Editor:

As a parent/health professional/teacher, etc., I am appalled that President Obama chose to delay vital protections from smog pollution. After the summer we have had, full of orange alert/bad air days, I had hoped that my children/patients/students would have been able to breathe easier soon. But by putting the interests of coal and oil polluters before those of our community, the president has left us all at risk.

The science clearly says that we need stronger protections from smog, and this president says he believes in science. Letting polluters run wild won’t create jobs or save lives. It will just cause more asthma attacks and illnesses.

I will be watching closely to make sure the president stands strong on other environmental or health protections. I'm doing my part to leave a better world for future generations, and I hope that President Obama will do the same.


Your Name

Obama Misses Chance to Help (City/State) Families Breathe Easier

Dear Editor,

With over 500 dirty coal-fired power plants across the United States, including Plant Name in Town, it’s hard to breathe easily. Burning coal releases deadly air pollution that is making us sick from asthma attacks, cancer and heart disease.

So I was shocked to read that President Obama had decided to delay issuing stronger protections from smog. Science based standards would have saved lives and prevented disease, but instead, polluters will get to continue spewing pollution into our air.

The science clearly says that we need stronger protections from smog, and this president says he believes in science. Letting polluters run wild won’t create jobs or save lives. It will just cause more asthma attacks and illnesses.


Your Name

Cars Get an Extended License to Pollute

To the Editor,

State-ans should be appalled at the Obama administration's failure to protect families from car and truck pollution. Gas-guzzling vehicles generate smog and inflame our lungs, but the president just delayed issuing stronger protections until at least 2013.

By delaying new smog protections, President Obama has sentenced our children to years of more deadly air pollution that is making us sick from asthma attacks and heart disease

Why do oil companies matter more than our children? Smog pollution costs us billions of dollars in health costs each year. President Obama missed his chance to clean up the air for future generations.

I will watch carefully to see if the president breaks any more promises to our children. There is too much at stake to let anything get in the way of science.


Your Name