September marked the 50 year anniversary of the Clean Air Act passed unanimously in the Senate. The Clean Air Act is a major environmental safeguard that passed unanimously in the Senate in 1970 to lower pollution and clean up the air we breathe. The Clean Air Act has worked to keep our communities healthy, our environment safe, and created nearly 2 trillion dollars in benefits. The Clean Air Act proved we can have clean air and not sacrifice jobs.
Today the Clean Air Act remains a pedestal of environmental protection policy that has worked to lower pollution and keep our air clean. But coal lobbyist and current occupier of the EPA, Andrew Wheeler, has worked overtime to roll back the Clean Air Act and reward polluters. The EPA has abandoned protecting wildlife and public lands and has prioritized polluters and put profits over people. Andrew Wheeler is threatening our clean air and our public health for generations.
Environmental activists of the 1970’s are joining students and a younger generation to demand climate action in every aspect of legislation. Clean air is just as big of priority now as it was when the Clean Air Act was created. Clean air is crucial to fight climate change and infection. Air pollution weakens lung health and allows the COVID-19 respiratory virus to thrive in a polluted environment. That’s why this year we are celebrating 50 years since the passage of the Clean Air Act, a staple in environmental policy that is estimated to save 230,000 early deaths by the end of 2020. We have to prioritize the laws that protect us during the respiratory pandemic. Despite the enormous economic benefits that the Clean Air Act has created, Senator Chuck Grassley is going back on his word to protect clean air. Chuck Grassley has been in the US Senate for 40 years and has not learned the economic value of protecting clean air. Businesses do better in a healthy community. Innovation thrives in an equable public health environment. Pollution drives away business, it hurts your workforce, and causes disruption in trade routes.