As you may know, last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which was designed to help keep toxic pollutants that cause acid rain and smog out of the air, under the Clean Air Act.
I strongly disagree with the Court’s ruling New Hampshire is oftentimes referred to as the tailpipe of the nation because of the harmful emissions from the Midwest that are carried here by air currents. Implementing the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule would have helped to keep these harmful emissions out of New Hampshire’s air and would have also required the rest of the nation to catch up to what we’re already doing here in New Hampshire to enact important and appropriate environmental protections.
As Thomas Burack, the Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services said, “[T]his decision will limit New Hampshire’s ability to achieve compliance with current and future air quality requirements for protecting public health due to air pollution transported into our state from states to our west and south.”
This ruling not only affects public health and the environment, it impacts our state’s economic well-being too. We rely on our natural resources to support industries like tourism, outdoor recreation, and forest products production, which create thousands of jobs and generate millions of dollars of revenue for the Granite State. Our environment and our economy go hand-in-hand, and that’s why we need to preserve these vital environmental treasures and keep our air, water, and land clean and safe.
As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee with jurisdiction over environmental issues, I will be reviewing the Court’s decision carefully and working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to protect the air we breathe and safeguard New Hampshire’s environment and way of life.
Charles F. Bass represents New Hampshire’s Second District in Congress. You can reach him at http://bass.house.gov.