Contact: Sasha Tenenbaum, 917.887.0146, email@example.com
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, in the midst of a global respiratory pandemic, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is expected to finalize his attack on the life-saving Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. In response, leading clean air advocate and author Dominique Browning, who co-founded and directs Moms Clean Air Force, issued this rebuke:
“While America suffers devastating public health impacts of the coronavirus outbreak—a lethal respiratory pandemic—Andrew Wheeler and the Trump administration continue their cynical campaign to protect industrial polluters and undermine life-saving pollution protections,” said Browning.
“Today’s attack on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards is an outrage to anyone who cares about babies and children. To eviscerate standards that safeguard Americans against pollution linked to brain damage in babies is unforgivable.
“We have been mystified as to why Trump’s EPA would cripple a rule that is a fully implemented, highly effective pollution standard that is protecting babies’ brains from mercury and other air toxics from coal plants. Administrator Wheeler’s new rule would allow coal-fired power plants to spew more mercury into the air. And make no mistake: Right now the U.S. gets 28 percent of its energy from coal.
“As a mother, and as a grandmother, I am appalled that Trump’s EPA is finalizing a rule that so severely compromises our nation’s greatest resource: The brains and bodies of our children. This is a direct assault on our children, but especially those in low-income and minority communities who are disproportionately harmed.
“For this administration to gamble willfully with our children’s health for the benefit of coal industry polluters crosses the line for moms, dads, and advocates for children everywhere. In opposing this attack, Moms Clean Air Force stands shoulder to shoulder with a diverse coalition of stakeholders—including members of Congress from both parties, the American Academy of Pediatrics, faith leaders, the NAACP, and even the regulated industry itself. Together, we urged Administrator Wheeler not to move forward with this plan. By ignoring these voices, Wheeler today has shown that his true priorities lie far from babies, children, moms, and families. This EPA administrator, and this president, clearly care more about coal company profits than they do about our children.
“Today’s action at EPA is not an isolated attack,” Browning said. “Crippling the mercury standards is one of the many ways that fossil fuel lobbyist Andrew Wheeler is weakening health protections, using the Covid-19 pandemic as cover. In addition to attacking the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, Administrator Wheeler is:
- Refusing to protect Americans from deadly particulate pollution, ignoring the advice of scientists;
- Gutting Clean Car Standards, adding harmful pollution to the air while making cars more expensive to drive;
- Loosening compliance and enforcement of pollution standards, giving industry the freedom to pollute during the coronavirus pandemic; and
- Moving to censor the types of scientific research that EPA can consider when setting pollution standards.
“Moms Clean Air Force has been fighting for almost a decade to protect babies from mercury pollution. We will not allow our children to be poisoned. We will continue to do what we parents do best: challenge this attack with the full power of our more than one million members, for the health-harming hypocrisy that it is. Moms are calling on Congress to say: Wheeler Must Go.”