Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Permitting Poison in the Air Means More Money for the Romney-Ryan Campaign
Press Release

RELEASE: Permitting Poison in the Air Means More Money for the Romney-Ryan Campaign

Read the full issue brief here.

Washington, D.C. — As the House of Representatives prepares to vote on H.R. 3409, a bill to block Environmental Protection Agency rules to reduce mercury, carcinogens, soot, smog, and carbon pollution from power plants and other sources, the Center for American Progress Action Fund released “Permitting Poison in the Air Means More Money for the Romney-Ryan Campaign.” This issue brief contrasts President Barack Obama’s record on adopting significant public-health safeguards with the platform supported by Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), which calls for removing these public-health protections while raking in millions of dollars in campaign contributions and support from Big Oil and coal and utility companies.

The House of Representatives plan to vote on H.R. 3409 by the end of this week. It encompasses much of the Romney-Ryan anti-public-health agenda, which would continue unabated deadly pollution from power plants, industrial boilers, hazardous waste incinerators, cement plants, and other industrial facilities.

Every year, the public-health safeguards targeted by Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan save at least 21,600 lives and up to a net benefit of $187 billion due to lower health care costs. Nonetheless, Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan are planning to undo these protections as one of their top priorities. Gov. Romney says he would promptly issue an executive order that directs all agencies to immediately initiate the elimination of Obama-era public-health regulations. During the current Congress, Rep. Ryan repeatedly voted for legislation to repeal, block, or weaken these essential public-health safeguards, including opposing limits on mercury, carcinogens, soot, and carbon pollution.

“Gov. Romney’s proposals to kill these essential pollution reductions would launch a war on our children and parents’ lungs,” said Daniel J. Weiss, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund and co-author of the issue brief. “In addition to the staggering human toll, Gov. Romney’s agenda would cost our economy a net of $187 billion annually. But it would save Gov. Romney’s oil, coal, and other polluting supporters some money.”

As of August 22 the Romney presidential campaign had received a total of $3 million in direct contributions from from individuals and political action committees associated with the oil, gas, utility, and coal industries, according to Opensecrets.org. These sectors would profit from blocking some or all of these pollution-reduction rules. During the week of August 20, Gov. Romney raised an additional $10 million from Texas oil executives in two days of events whose hosts included ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson and oil billionaire Harold Hamm, who is also the chair of Gov. Romney’s energy advisory committee. The events occurred two days before Gov. Romney released his energy agenda that includes his promise to allow facilities to continue to emit hazardous pollution that harms children, seniors, and other vulnerable people.

Read the full issue brief here.

To speak with Daniel J. Weiss, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.481.8181 or cdipasquale@americanprogressaction.org.

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