Brian Willis: Brian.Willis@sierraclub.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Former coal lobbyist, and soon to be former EPA Administrator, Andrew Wheeler finalized new requirements today which distort how EPA calculates the costs and benefits for its clean air protections. Environmentalists, scientists, and public health experts widely view Wheeler's move as a naked attempt to force future EPA Administrators to ignore comprehensive analyses of the health benefits of science-based public health protections, and instead cherry pick data to suit the bottom lines of polluting industries eager to avoid accountability for their pollution.
EPA itself had previously shown that the benefits to public health of the Clean Air Act outweigh the costs to polluters by more than 30 to 1. According to the Sierra Club, this new regulation is Wheeler’s way to hide, obfuscate, and deny those benefits of clean air for the benefit of the coal and oil industries.
In response, Al Armendariz, Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign Senior Director of Federal Campaigns, released the following statement:
“With this deeply flawed rule, Andrew Wheeler and the Trump Administration are trying to force future EPA Administrators to tip the scales in favor of polluters, not public health. This change in how EPA calculates the overwhelming benefits of clean air protections means public health experts and scientists at EPA could ignore the children suffering through severe asthma attacks, seniors rushing to hospitals with heart attacks, and the tears of millions of families burying their loved ones who died prematurely -- just so some fossil fuel executive won’t have to reduce air pollution from their power plant.
“This change to cost and benefits analyses for clean air protections isn’t about numbers, it’s about people, their families, and their communities. It says that the EPA doesn’t care about doing thorough work to make sure as many people as possible are protected from dirty air. It says Andrew Wheeler never stopped working for his coal company clients ever after he took an oath to protect us from harmful pollution. And, it says why the American people rejected Wheeler and the Trump Administration last month.”
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.