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Category Archives: EPA

Soon after the Environmental Protection Agency announced that they would be holding regulations that would clean up industrial air pollution, Administrator Lisa Jackson sat down with Jon Stewart.  On the Daily Show interview she Jackson discusses the discrepancy between what Americans want the EPA to do; what politicians want, and her role trying to find the balance; "we can cut red tape but we can't cut the protection." Here are the broadcast interview and extended web extra.

In the extended clip, Lisa Jackson elaborates on how EPA actions have saved trillions of dollars in health care costs.

If you want to learn more about the stalled regulations that would've put restrictions on industrial air polliution, including mercury emissions, check out Living on Earth's report this week.

Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger worked to leave California a greener state than when he was elected. In 2006 he signed the nation's first bill creating a cap on greenhouse gas emissions. In his personal life he famously coverted his Hummer to run on biofuel.  Now the Governator is bolstering his environmental legacy in the editorial section of the Wall Street Journal.  In a time where the EPA's regulatory power has been hotly debated, Schwarzenegger breaks party ranks to voice his enduring support for the Clean Air Act.   His op-ed is below:

I love American success stories. Start-up companies that change the marketplace, inventors who create new technologies, and, of course, immigrants who make it big in Hollywood. That's why I love the Clean Air Act, one of the most successful laws in American history. Over the last 40 years, it has made our air dramatically cleaner, saved hundreds of thousands of lives, and substantially boosted our economy.

In 1968, I came to California and didn't know why my eyes were constantly filling with tears. I quickly learned about smog and bad-air days. These days, the air is much cleaner thanks to the Clean Air Act and technologies that resulted from it, such as catalytic converters on cars and particle traps on diesel exhaust. Those toxic smog days motivated everyone to act.

Today, I have tears in my eyes again, but for a very different reason. Some in Washington are threatening to pull the plug on this success. Since January, there have been more than a dozen proposals in Congress to limit enforcement of our clean-air rules, create special-interest loopholes, and attempt to reverse scientific findings. These attacks go by different names and target different aspects of the law, but they all amount to the same thing: dirtier air.

This is not an abstract political fight. If these proposals are passed, more mercury, dioxins, carbon pollution and acid gases will end up in the air our kids breathe. More Americans will get sick, end up in the hospital, and die from respiratory illness. We would be turning our backs on the sound science and medical advice that has reduced air pollution from large industrial sources by more than 70% since the late 1960s, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

schwarzenegger

The rules that are under attack put common-sense limits on dangerous chemicals in our air. Mercury, which after 20 years is finally being regulated from power plants, is a dangerous neurotoxin that damages brain development and lowers IQs in young children. Acid gases, like hydrogen chloride and hydrogen fluoride, are associated with bronchitis and asthma, according to the American Lung Association. And dioxins and other pollutants cause cancer.

Hobbling the Clean Air Act will also hurt the economy. More air pollution causes more sick days, and thus hurts productivity. And, as I know from California's experience, clean-air rules have led to innovation and new technologies that have created hundreds of thousands of new jobs and billions in clean-energy investment.

Congress should not substitute political calculations for scientific and medical facts. According to a recent poll by the American Lung Association, 69% of Americans believe that EPA scientists should set health standards, rather than members of Congress. Yet one proposal under consideration would actually overturn a finding by EPA experts on the impact of carbon pollution on our atmosphere. Another would prevent government scientists from even gathering information on the amount of this pollution going into the air.

I began my public service by promoting fitness for kids, so I know how much parents worry about keeping their children healthy. We choose the right foods, encourage exercise, wear bike helmets, and keep them away from danger whenever we can. But there are some threats, like air pollution, that we can't protect them from on our own. We can't tell our kids not to breathe or control what toxins blow into our air from neighboring states.

For this, we rely on our nation's clean-air laws.

I'm proud that it was a fellow California Republican, President Richard Nixon, who signed the Clean Air Act into law in 1970. In 1990, the act was strengthened by huge bipartisan majorities in Congress. Let's keep that bipartisan tradition alive to make sure no more tears are shed over the clean air that the American people deserve.

Mr. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, was governor of California from 2003 to 2011.

Administrator Lisa Jackson’s EPA has made Environmental Justice one of is central issues.  The Agency has been inviting participation on environmental discussions in some creative ways.  Most recently EPA’s EJ branch hosted a video contest to find the new "Faces of Grassroots."  Submissions ranged from a Green Hip Hop Video, to a youth produced News Reports to an animation.  Check out all the winning videos here.

Few toxins have ever had as destructive a force as lead.  Some historians say that lead water pipes contributed to the downfall of the Roman Empire. Now, two thousand years later, lead in paint and toys continues to be linked to high blood pressure, organ failure, learning disabilities and behavioral problems (Check out the award winning pH documentary on lead in Cincinnati for more).

Today the EPA advances lead regulation by closing an old loop-hole on lead abatement.  The new EPA rule removes a provision that allowed owner-occupants of pre-1978 homes to “opt-out” of having their contractors follow lead-safe work practices if there were no children under six years of age in the home. A statement from the EPA says "the result will better protect children and adult occupants during and after renovation, repair and painting projects."

Read more about the EPA’s Lead policies here.

Photo By  Abby Lanes.
http://www.epa.gov/lead/

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has been rounding the talk show circuit, diffusing partisan Climate Reform beef. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a proponent of climate legislation, pulled his support of a (precariously) bipartisan climate bill when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) slid immigration reform up to the front burner.  Apparently the Senate has never heard of multi-tasking. So once again, as with every stage of this drawn-out process, the headlines proclaimed the "Climate Bill Dead."  

Lisa Jackson played damage control on the Daily Show and Letterman to tell the public that though the Senate missed their Earth Day peg they are working to bring Graham and his Republican cohorts back onboard.

Administrator Jackson also talked with Jon Stewart about the EPA’s jurisdiction over green house gas regulation.  For the first time ever, in March, the EPA began regulating car emissions, shooting for a 40% decrease in the next 5 years.  Jon Stewart’s commute via Private Jet sandwich (I think he sits inbetween) will not be regulated.  

Do you think Senator Graham is justified in his criticism of Senator Reid’s  jockeying of immigration?  

Or is Senator Graham, as Jon Stewart points out, a big baby?

Also, does anyone else think that this is Jon Stewart’s least funny interview?  

Sometimes I wonder about my carbon footprint. Luckily the EPA has a pretty cool calculator to calculate individual and household carbon emissions.

Are you suprised by your results?

Photo by awynhaus