Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Chair, the bill before us today is bad for America's health and reduces progress in our nation's energy independence. I oppose this `dirty air act' that would eliminate the ability of the EPA to address the very serious public health threats from carbon pollution.
The Clean Air Act requires that if the EPA finds carbon pollution to be detrimental to our health, then the EPA must regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court upholding this authority, today's legislation would exempt our nation's largest polluters from regulation, eliminate public health protections, and push back efforts to reduce our dependence on foreign energy resources. By preventing the EPA from setting carbon pollution national automobile standards, this bill does nothing to reduce consumption and reliance on foreign oil.
The EPA helps protect our nation's most vulnerable--including children, seniors and those suffering from respiratory ailments--by guaranteeing the air we breathe is safe and healthy. Dirty air has been linked to an increase in asthma rates, especially among young people, an increase in emergency room visits and hospitalizations, and an increase in heart attacks and strokes. In New York, pediatric asthma affects an estimated half million children and an additional estimated 1.5 million adults 18 and over have asthma, based on 2009 rates.
All across the country, Americans overwhelmingly support EPA protections for the air we breathe and the water we drink. Supporting this bill disregards science, ignores public health concerns, and does nothing to curb carbon emissions. I urge a no vote.