PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Monday, September 26, 2011

Capps Decries House Passage of the TRAIN Act

Congresswoman Lois Capps (CA-23) decried House passage of the TRAIN Act, legislation that would indefinitely block Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) efforts to limit mercury, smog and soot, and other toxic emissions from power plants that are a serious danger to public health.

These facilities are the largest sources of these pollutants, and the EPA actions being proposed have been researched since 1990. The legislation passed 249-169, in a largely party-line vote. The House also passed several amendments to gut the most basic protections of the Clean Air Act.

“Instead of working on policies to create jobs, House Republicans today continued their efforts to gut important rules to keep our air clean. Reducing the amount of mercury, smog and soot are proven strategies to reduce asthma attacks, cancer, and premature death. But this legislation would mean an end to that effort to ensure our air safe to breathe and that Americans can be put to work cleaning up dirty power plants,” said Capps.

A fact sheet on the TRAIN Act can be found here.

Capps offered a straightforward amendment to the TRAIN Act that would have required the new government committee – established by the TRAIN Act – to quantify the brain damage, developmental problems and infant deaths that would result from delaying or blocking EPA clean air standards. The amendment was defeated in a near party line vote by a vote of 195-221.

“If the redundant committee established by the bill is supposed to study the economic costs of EPA’s standards, it should at a minimum study the true health costs resulting from blocking these important safeguards. Mothers and fathers deserve nothing less than to know their kids are breathing clean air,” said Capps.

Capps has led congressional efforts in support of the EPA’s proposal to reduce mercury and other air toxics in the atmosphere. In June, she was joined by over 100 of her colleagues in sending a letter to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson in support of the proposal, which would have tremendous public health and economic benefits.

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