The League joined a letter to the U.S. Senate urging Senators to oppose S. 3214, Senator McConnell's newest attempt to derail the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) carbon pollution standards. The legislation would block the nation's ability to address climate change and alter the Clean Air Acts health based focus. The League is a strong supporter of the EPA's new regulations.
Clean Water Action * Earthjustice * Environmental Defense Fund * Environmental Law and Policy Center League of Conservation Voters * League of Women Voters * Natural Resources Defense Council * Sierra Club Southern Environmental Law Center * Voices for Progress
On behalf of our millions of members and online supporters, we urge you to oppose Senator Mitch McConnell’s new bill (S.2414) to derail carbon pollution standards. This legislation is the Senator’s latest assault on the Clean Air Act, a successful law that has protected every American from the harmful effects of air pollution for the last 40 years. The legislation would also effectively nullify the Supreme Court’s affirmation that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the legal authority and responsibility to use the Clean Air Act to limit dangerous carbon pollution.
In early June, EPA proposed common‐sense standards that give states the flexibility to craft their own state‐ specific plans to cut carbon pollution. Many states and power companies have already reduced their emissions, proving that we can affordably curb pollution while continuing to have a reliable power supply for homes and businesses. In response to a bipartisan request by Senators, EPA is accepting comments on the proposal for 120 days, once again underscoring the agency’s commitment to an open, collaborative process.
Senator McConnell’s bill would effectively block the nation’s ability to address climate change while also setting a broad precedent that could hobble all laws aimed at protecting the public. The McConnell bill works by setting up a series of tests that must be met before limiting pollution—tests that are inherently impossible to pass. While these criteria may sound reasonable at first blush, no public protection would ever be able to go into effect if the McConnell tests became standard practice.
Specifically, the bill would fundamentally alter the Clean Air Act’s health‐based focus by demanding that the Department of Labor certify that carbon standards would result in zero employment loss. That means if even a single job—of any kind—were to be lost, all efforts to address climate change would grind to a halt. The bill also requires the director of the Congressional Budget Office, the Energy Information Administration, and others to meet similarly unreasonable thresholds.
This precedent would have destructive implications for health and safety far beyond climate or the Clean Air Act. For example, if applied broadly, the McConnell tests would prevent action under the Renewable Fuel Standard, our food safety laws, toxic toy protections, motor vehicle safety standards, and financial regulations. The McConnell bill is a brick wall to block public protection painted to look like a low hurdle.
When confronted with a national challenge, Senator McConnell and his climate change‐denying colleagues have no solution. This bill offers a "just say no" policy that won't create a single job, clean up the air, or protect communities from the impacts of climate change.
The American public overwhelmingly supports cutting carbon pollution from power plants. These standards will immediately lead to healthier air and the creation of clean energy jobs. We have an obligation to protect our children and future generations from the impacts of climate change.
Constituents and stakeholders are coming to the table to work productively with EPA. Once again, we urge you to oppose this dangerous unprecedented legislation that would block our ability to address the threat of climate change.