Rep. Gabbard Votes Against Bill to Gut Clean Air ActJuly 19, 2017, 9:00 AM HST (Updated July 19, 2017, 7:22 AM)
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (Hawai‘i-02) yesterday voted against the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 (H.R. 806), a bill intended to gut the Clean Air Act by severely eroding the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to enforce public health standards on smog and other pollutants.
Groups opposed to this bill include the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Lung Association, League of Conservation Voters, National Medical Association, National Parks Conservation Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and Union of Concerned Scientists.
“This bill erodes the Clean Air Act’s science-based standards to measure air quality at the expense of the health and safety of the American people, all to benefit heavy-polluting industries,” said Rep. Gabbard. “Rolling back the EPA’s ability to regulate air quality and enforce crucial ozone standards for eight years will exacerbate asthma, respiratory illness, and other health issues impacting our family, workforce and kūpuna.
“At a time when we should be focusing on reducing air pollution and protecting our citizens’ health, this bill does the opposite by undermining the Clean Air Act,” said Rep. Gabbard. “I will continue to push for environmental protections for our planet and public health.”
Rep. Gabbard has long advocated for environmental protection policies. In February 2017 she received a 100% score from the League of Conservation Voters’ (LCV) National Environmental Scorecard which represents the consensus of experts from about 20 respected environmental and conservation organizations who select the key votes on which members of Congress should be scored. LCV scores votes on the most important issues of the year, including energy, global warming, public health, public lands and wildlife conservation, and spending for environmental programs. The scorecard is the nationally accepted yardstick used to rate members of Congress on environmental, public health, and energy issues.
The Clean Air Act was passed in 1963 to curb emissions of harmful pollutants into the atmosphere, and expanded in 1970 to improve federal and state regulations. To respond to emerging public health and environmental threats, the EPA evaluates the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) every five years. The legislation includes measures to limit the ability of the EPA to evaluate the NAAQS.