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,

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