The TRAIN Act Is On The Wrong Track

BY ON September 19, 2011

Little boy sitting on train tracks holding teddy bear

Please note deadline to make your voice heard to STOP the TRAIN Act is Thursday, September 22nd!

The most current misguided effort in the war on our children’s right to breathe clean, healthy air is the TRAIN Act of 2011, spearheaded by Majority Leader Cantor (R-VA). This train wreck of a bill will block the EPA’s proposed standards to control mercury and power plant pollution.

The House votes at the end of this week on Bill (HR 1705), or The TRAIN Act. This bill is designed to gut Clean Air Act regulations, and leave the Environmental Protection Agency crippled.

Some politicians are siding with polluters…

Michele Bachmann says if she’s elected, “I guarantee you the EPA will have doors locked and lights turned off.”

Rick Perry hammers his point home that, “EPA regulations are killing jobs all across America.” 

Rep. Cantor would like us to buy into the argument that EPA regulations kills jobs: “A recent memo from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor identified proposed restrictions on mercury, acid gases, ozone and greenhouse emissions — toxics, pollutants, contributors to global climate change — as “job-destroying regulations.”

One of the so-called “job-destroying” regulations cited by Rep. Cantor addresses cross-state air pollution that is attributable to emissions from power plants. He would like us to believe some of the oldest and dirtiest coal-fired plants don’t need upgrading. Yet, according to the cost-benefit analysis, if the plants were cleaned up, it would result in $30 in economic benefits for every dollar spent. The benefits are derived from employees taking fewer sick days, a lower incidence of chronic illnesses, and fewer deaths. These regulations don’t kill jobs; they’ve created thousands of jobs in the engineering and technology sector.

The TRAIN Act is taking aim at families and if passed, our children will take a direct hit.

When coal-fired power plants are regulated there are fewer heart attacks, fewer asthma attacks, fewer respiratory diseases and lives destroyed. Now think of the alternative Rep. Cantor would like us to support.

The Clean Air Act, regulated by the EPA and administered by the states has protected our families since the 1970’s. So, how come in 2011, some legislators want to pull the rug out from under this tried and true life-saving legislation?

Due to a massive loophole in the Clean Air Act – the oldest, and dirtiest coal-fired power plants have never been required to install scrubbers and continue to spew soot, smog, mercury, and other toxic chemicals into the air. More than half of all coal plant owners have installed these scrubbers. Their bottom line: healthy. But, many coal plants were slated to be closed before these regulations were on the table because they were not cost effective.

This is why the EPA, after years of delay, is finally readying new standards for one of the deadliest polluters – mercury. But, the coal industry and its political supporters are continuing to cry foul, while they emit horrible chemicals into our air. These delay tactics cloud the health issue and protect polluters’ right to pollute.

Here’s what I don’t get: Some politicians seem to have no value of the human toll in regards to lives poisoned by pollution. Yet they claim to be pro-family. Go figure? In the case of Perry, who has received millions of dollars from the oil and gas industries to push its pro-pollution, anti-science agenda while the health and well-being of our children and grandchildren are up for grabs, his proposed policies would do the opposite of advocating for families – it would put our families at risk. Does this seem pro-family?

Since we can’t compete with the millions of dollars pumped into a disinformation campaign, or deal with the polluting devils that pad the pocketbooks of political candidates; what can we do to stop the TRAIN Act in its tracks?

We can share knowledge, we can get the word out that we will fight to protect our children, we can tell our representatives in Washington that we will not elect them if they don’t protect us from the ravages of pollution, we can start looking for politicians that honor their words and value all human lives, and we can stand strong with the Moms Clean Air Force because moms know what’s best for their children: Clean Air.

Please Join Moms Clean Air Force!

Photo Credit: Polyvore

TOPICS: Activism, Asthma, Coal, Economics, Mercury Poisoning, Politics, Pollution