Portland, Maine—Environment Maine launched a TV ad today criticizing Senators Snowe and Collins for voting last week to block Clean Air Act limits on global warming pollution. The Senate defeated the binding Congressional Review Act resolution (S.J.Res. 26) by a 47-53 vote.
The TV ad will run from June 15-21 in Portland.
“We are extremely disappointed that Senators Snowe and Collins voted to increase Maine’s dependence on oil and gut the Clean Air Act. Mainers expect much better from our senators,” said Paul Burns of Environment Maine.
The resolution, introduced by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, would have blocked new Clean Air Act rules requiring cars and light trucks to use less oil and pollute less. As a result, an Environment Maine analysis found that the Senate measure would have increased Maine’s dependence on oil by more than 2 million gallons in 2016, costing Mainers $6 million at the gas pump. Nationally, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), blocking this one rule alone would increase America’s oil dependence by 455 million barrels.
“With the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico wreaking havoc on people’s livelihoods and the environment, we need to end America’s dependence on oil and strengthen environmental safeguards, not make the problem worse,” said Burns.
The resolution would have overturned the EPA’s scientific finding that global warming pollutants endanger human health and the environment – a prerequisite for any and all Clean Air Act rules to reduce the pollution from cars and other sources, such as old, dirty coal-fired power plants and heavy industry.
The Congressional Review Act is a rarely used law that provides Congress expedited procedures to void agency rules. The Washington Post exposed earlier this year that industry lobbyists had worked on the “exact phrasing” of Senator Murkowski’s amendment on the issue in the fall of 2009.
“Senators Snowe and Collins can start to redeem themselves by working to craft and pass this summer a strong bill to lessen the extensive damage caused in the Gulf, cut our oil dependence, and move America to a clean energy economy,” concluded Burns.
Environment Maine is a statewide environmental advocacy organization.