Indiana News

Clean Air Advocates Challenge US Senator

2/11/2010

Clean air advocates in Indiana are accusing U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) of talking dirty.

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Murkowski's proposed "resolution of disapproval" would block new federal emissions rules dealing with greenhouse gases. Similar efforts are being made in the House.

Dr. Stephen Jay of Indianapolis, a Physicians for Social Responsibility representative, says it would be "akin to Congress saying that, gee, cigarettes are not harmful anymore when we know that they are."

A policy statement on the Senator's website says the "economy-wide implications of regulating greenhouse gases are not compatible with the blunt tools afforded the EPA" under the Clean Air Act.

"My understanding is that there is a whole huge, vibrant industry out there waiting to happen," said Dr. Richard Feldman, a former Indiana Health Commissioner. "There are tools available. And the big polluters in America need to start using these tools to clean up their act."

Jay says forcing the EPA to back off would have an especially harmful effect in Indiana. The Hoosier State is one on the nation's five biggest polluters, ranking third for sulfur dioxide emissions, third for nitrogen oxide and fourth for carbon dioxide.

"About 40 percent of Hoosiers live in non-attainment areas for particulate matter which causes cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer and so on," said Jay.
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