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Kerry, Colleagues Respond to GOP Assault on Environmental Protections


Location: Washington, DC

Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today released the following statements after Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) introduced legislation to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon pollution that poses a risk to public health.

"This legislation puts the public health at risk and encourages the outsourcing of American jobs. What's perhaps most Orwellian is that it comes from those who have marched in lockstep to prevent a responsible legislative response to climate change. Last year, when we were in the trenches trying to build consensus on climate policy and energy independence, we knew that if the Senate didn't get serious, the EPA would act to protect public health. Now the same folks who stopped us from legislating say that this is a legislative job not an executive one. The problem of global climate change grows worse every day and doing nothing isn't an option," said Sen. Kerry.

"This bill is about tying EPA's hands to help polluters. Allowing polluters to set clean air policy would mean more asthma attacks for our children, higher lung cancer rates, more sick days, more premature deaths, and lower productivity. The health of our children must come before the interests of polluters," said Sen. Menendez.

"Creating green jobs, encouraging energy efficiency, and making our air cleaner are urgent priorities. Senator Barrasso's bill is a short-sighted effort to bind the hands of EPA and the states as they work to achieve these goals. Rather than stifle efforts to protect our air from carbon pollution, I am focused on working with my colleagues to create jobs and promote public health," said Sen. Whitehouse.

"Voters last November did not vote for more pollution, but Republicans want to put the EPA out of business in order to roll back clean air protections, make us even more dependent on fossil fuels, and stop the United States from reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This bill must be stopped in its Big Oil tracks," said Sen. Sanders.

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