U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), one of the Senate's strongest public health and environmental champions, will soon be taking the gavel as chairman of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety. The change comes as a result of the committee assignment shakeup caused by the appointment of Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) as Ambassador to China.
"This is a critical time in the fight for clean air and public health," said Whitehouse. "People in downwind states like Rhode Island shouldn't be inundated by pollution from power plants in other states. As the Obama Administration continues to implement its Climate Action Plan -- including badly needed limits on carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants -- we know that the polluting industries and their allies in Congress will fight back. I look forward to using my position as chairman of the Clean Air Subcommittee to support the administration's plan and push for the strongest possible standards."
Senator Whitehouse testified last week in support of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed carbon pollution standards for new power plants, has pushed for EPA to revise its outdated ozone standard, and has long supported and EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. During his time as Rhode Island's Attorney General, Whitehouse joined EPA's lawsuit against American Electric Power for its illegal modification of 16 plants. And he has repeatedly spoken out in the Senate about the contribution of tall smoke stacks to East Coast air pollution.
Whitehouse is also the co-chair of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change and the Senate Climate Action Task Force. He served previously as chairman of the EPW Subcommittee on Oversight, which will now be chaired by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ).