What Is The Clean Air Act And What Does It Do?

Clean Air buttons
Photo Credit: NGerda, Clean Air buttons

On Wednesday, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In her testimony she defended the Clean Air act which is currently under attack from the Republicans.

The Clean Air Act is the law that defines EPA’s responsibilities for protecting and improving the nation’s air quality and the stratospheric ozone layer. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Senate Environment and Public Works ranking member James Inhofe, R-Okla., are pushing a bill that will strip the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

So find out what the Clean Air Act does before the repubs make it go bye bye and see if it’s worth fighting for.
According to whitehouse.gov:

• 160,000 Lives Saved Last Year
In the year 2010 alone, clean air regulations are estimated to have saved over 160,000 lives.

• More than 100,000 Hospital Visits Avoided Last Year
In 2010, clean air standards prevented millions of cases of respiratory problems, including bronchitis and asthma. It enhanced productivity by preventing millions of lost workdays, and kept kids healthy and in school, avoiding millions of lost school days due to respiratory illness and other diseases caused or exacerbated by air pollution.

• 60% Less Pollution in Our Air, Strong Economic Growth and Lower Electricity Prices
Since 1970, the Clean Air Act has reduced key air pollutants that cause smog and particulate pollution by more than 60%. At the same time the economy more than tripled. And Since the Clean Air Act Amendments in 1990, electricity production is up and prices are down. In 2009, electric utilities delivered 33 percent more electricity to U.S. households and businesses than in 1990, while nationwide electricity prices were 10 percent lower.

• Benefits Far Out Weigh Costs
Over its forty-year span, the benefits of the Clean Air Act – in the form of longer lives, healthier kids, greater workforce productivity, and ecosystem protections – outweigh the costs by more than 30 to 1.

Read about the Clean Air Act via epa.gov

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