Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw)-Guest Blogger
It seems that you can’t go anywhere on the Internet and not read an attack on the EPA by a Republican member of Congress. The Hill; McClatchey Unfortunately, I was not surprised how many of the Republican Congressmen were attacking the EPA and its attempts to control and eliminate air pollution. However, I was surprised by how many of those Congressmen were physicians.
“What would you think if your physician told you, “Keep smoking because quitting would kill tobacco and health care jobs.” Or, “Don’t take your high blood pressure medicine, you can’t afford it.” And, “Don’t lose weight, no one has proven obesity is bad for you.” That’s exactly the quality of medical advice we are getting from the 18 Republican physicians currently serving in Congress. Some of the most well known are the father and son team of Rep. Ron Paul and Sen. Rand Paul, and Sen. Tom Coburn. Almost all of these physician/Congressmen have been key soldiers in the Republican war on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), calling it a “job killer,” pronouncing relevant health science “unproven,” claiming we “can’t afford” their regulations.” Truthout
The “unproven” science that claims that air pollution is deadly comes from over 2,000 medical studies is significant in its numbers and content. “In the last ten years, over 2,000 scientific studies published in the mainstream medical literature have revealed that air pollution has much of the same physiologic and disease consequence as first- and second-hand cigarette smoke.(1, 2) Those studies show that just as there is no safe number of cigarettes a person can smoke, there is no safe level of air pollution a person can breathe. Even pollution at “background” levels still causes health consequences, including increased mortality rates.(3, 4)” Dr. Brian Moench
Dr. Moench’s Truthout article provides a plethora of citations to studies that confirm the need for and importance of taking the steps that the EPA has outlined in its August, 2010 report titled, “The Benefits and Costs of the Clean Air Act, 1990-2020”. EPA I guess some people can deny the science behind the studies and the EPA report. We have seen the climate change deniers put ear plugs in their ears when legitimate and voluminous studies are presented. Maybe I am naive, but I cannot understand how medical doctors can claim that we can’t afford the regulations needed to save lives of adults and children.
Over 1,800 medical doctors, nurses and health care professionals signed a letter to Congress imploring the Congressional members to honor the original intent of the Clean Air Act and allow science to trump politics by implementing the needed regulations to save lives. “The result is saved lives and improved quality of life for millions of Americans. But the job is not finished. Communities across the nation still suffer from poor air quality. Low income families face the impacts of toxic air pollution every day. From smog causing asthma attacks to toxic mercury harming children’s neurological development, far too many people face a constant threat from the air they breathe and the impacts of climate change. Please fulfill the promise of clean, healthy air for all Americans to breathe. Support full implementation of the Clean Air Act and resist any efforts to weaken, delay or block progress toward a healthier future for all Americans.” Lung.org
As someone who has Asthma, this fight to allow for the full implementation of the Clean Air Act has special meaning. I can only hope that Congress, including the Doctors who are in Congress will hear the call to do whatever is necessary to save lives. Politics should never get in the way of common sense and achievable changes and improvements in the air that we breathe.
Do you believe in the science behind the Clean Air Act and if not, where is the science to refute the claims of over 2,000 studies from all over the globe? Is there any health issue that can trump the vitriolic politics of our time? As quoted above, the original Clean Air Act and its amendments enjoyed bipartisan support. Why can’t that same bipartisan support be found for the full implementation of the Clean Air Act knowing it will save lives and create jobs? How many more must die or suffer before political gain is put aside?