From: Editor, Environmental Economics, More from this Affiliate
Published February 16, 2011 09:18 AM

Q: What would have happened without the Clean Air Act?

Today, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In her testimony the Administrator highlighted the agency's ongoing efforts to develop sensible standards that update the Clean Air Act, while ensuring that the landmark law continues to provide Americans the protections from dangerous pollution that they deserve. These reasonable steps will ensure that the air our children breathe and the water they drink is safe, while also providing certainty to American businesses.


Despite these pragmatic steps to implement long overdue updates, big polluters are trying to gut the Clean Air Act by asking Congress to carve out special loopholes from air pollution standards.

The Clean Air Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency the necessary tools to protect our families from a number of harmful pollutants that can cause asthma and lung disease – especially in children. Weakening these standards would allow more pollution in the air we breathe and threaten our children’s health. We thought it might be helpful to refresh everyone on how this landmark law affects our country and protects our health.

160,000 Lives Saved Last Year. In the year 2010 alone, clean air regulations are estimated to have saved over 160,000 lives.

More than 100,000 Hospital Visits Avoided Last Year. In 2010, clean air standards prevented millions of cases of respiratory problems, including bronchitis and asthma. It enhanced productivity by preventing millions of lost workdays, and kept kids healthy and in school, avoiding millions of lost school days due to respiratory illness and other diseases caused or exacerbated by air pollution.

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