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Pete Altman’s Blog

Do Your Representatives in Congress Have DirtySecrets?

Pete Altman

Posted September 20, 2011 in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment

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This week, Republican leaders will continue their deadly attack on public health protections.  We think the public has the right to know what their elected Representative are up to—and what is at stake. How many lives and how many asthmatic kids are they putting at risk? How much money do they take from polluters?

You can find all this out at www.dirtysecrets.org, a website that makes it easy to see what your own Members of Congress are up to, and call them on it.

And it’s more important than ever to find out because this week, the US House kicks off its fall line-up of deadly votes that would increase air pollution and cost American lives.

On Friday, the House is expected to vote on something called the TRAIN Act, which my colleague John Walke calls “the Worst Air Pollution Bill Ever to Reach the House floor” because it contains

“an amendment from Rep. Whitfield (R-KY) added to the bill in Full Committee that could permanently block two life-saving clean air safeguards: the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which curbs smog and soot pollution from power plants that crosses state lines, and the Mercury and Air Toxics standards, which limit mercury and other toxic air pollution from power plants.”

The price tag, in human health, for this lethal legislation? Up to 33, 450 premature deaths.  

But multi-pollutant massacre won’t stop there.  As I’ve previously noted, GOP leaders in the House are planning a series of votes to allow dirty industries to pollute more:

  • Toxic pollution from cement kilns (“Cement MACT (Week of October 3)”)
  • And more, including stopping the clean-up of carbon pollution, coal ash waste, and soot.

These votes will, if they become law, cause tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of cases of additional illnesses. Combined, the GOP’s campaign to clobber clean air could put over 80,000 Americans in early graves.

No one should be allowed to get away with casting these kinds of votes without the folks back home knowing about their Dirty Secrets. So check it out and share it widely.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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