Wednesday, March 7, 2012

NRDC: Collins Amendment "Deadly"

A long, detailed piece from National Resources Defense Council on Sen. Collins' amendment to exempt incinerators and industrial boilers from clean air standards.

Some lowlights:

The amendment...allows indefinite compliance delays by prohibiting EPA from requiring compliance with new standards any "earlier than 5 years" after issuance, and then eliminating the Clean Air Act's firm compliance deadlines and allowing compliance to be delayed by 8 or 10 or 15 years more. This feature alone belies any claim that the Collins amendment simply delays things a few years.

For just the amendment's minimum 3.5 year delay beyond current law, this will result in up to 28,350 more premature deaths, over 17,000 heart attacks, and more than 180,000 cases of asthma attacks


Congress cannot believe that Americans deserve to go unprotected against neurotoxins and carcinogens by allowing the country's 2nd largest industrial source of mercury pollution and other toxins to be subject to periodic tune-ups and maintenance practices, with no pollution control equipment.

That approach would relegate clean air policy to not just the period pre-dating the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments but pre-1970, before that landmark law was adopted. And incinerators and industrial boilers would secure amnesty from health standards that over 100 other industrial sources, including power plants, must meet. (Emphasis added.)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Moderate No More

In a move that substantially undercuts her "social moderate" credentials, Sen. Collins voted earlier today to sustain an amendment by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) that would give employers the option of refusing to cover any health benefit that violates their professed religious beliefs.

I wrote about the amendment two weeks ago.

Asked for comment, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England's Megan Hannan wrote, via e-mail:

[Collins'] speech said her issue was needing more time, so voting to table it (which was the actual vote) would have given her the time she said she needed...

She should have voted "aye" to table it, she had the "out" to do so, and still she voted for it.

As much as they tried to say it was not, this is very clearly another assault against women and women’s health, and Senator Collins came down on the wrong side.