Friday, September 23, 2011

Taking A "Breather"

The Center for American Progess isn't happy with Sen. Collins

On September 12, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and 20 of her colleagues introduced the Regulatory Time-Out Act, S. 1538. This bill would establish a one-year moratorium on regulations from the executive branch and independent regulatory agencies...

This moratorium would halt the implementation of rules to reduce mercury, dioxin, and other toxic chemicals from coal-fired power plants, industrial boilers, and cement manufacturing. The American Lung Association noted that allowing these sources to continue unchecked will inflict real harm on Americans, particularly children, seniors, and the sick:
These emissions can make breathing difficult and can worsen asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis and other lung diseases. These pollutants can cause heart attacks and strokes, lung cancer and other cancers, birth defects and premature death.
The American Lung Association projects that these two pollution reduction requirements would save at least 51,000 lives and prevent over half a million asthma attacks every year...

In Sen. Collins’s home state of Maine, her bill would continue the emission of at least 12,000 pounds of mercury and other toxics from Maine power plants and cement plants. At least 2.6 million pounds of airborne toxics are emitted into Maine’s skies every year—or two pounds for every Maine resident. The energy and natural resources companies have contributed over $400,000 to Sen. Collins since she was elected...

Sen. Collins’s most recent bill continues her yearlong assault on the health and safety of Mainers and other Americans. In February she targeted the Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology rule, which would require facilities with large industrial boilers to reduce their emissions of mercury, lead, and other pollutants that harm our health. These chemicals have proven, damaging effects on the heart, lungs, and brain. By clearing the air of these toxics, the boiler MACT rule would save 2,600 to 6,600 lives per year.

Sen. Collins has also sponsored the Clearing Unnecessary Regulatory Burdens Act and the EPA Regulatory Relief Act. Both acts target regulations that would reduce emission of hazardous air pollutants.

Sen. Collins says she is proposing S. 1538 in order to give U.S. companies a “sensible breather” from the regulations that suppress job creation. But this would make breathing harder for children, seniors, and the ill by prolonging emission of millions of pounds of toxic pollution.

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