In 2010, the U.S. Senate failed to pass comprehensive climate legislation to address. In light of that failure, the Clean Air Act is the key remaining tool we have to combat what is arguably the most serious issue of our time: global warming.

The Clean Air Act authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate carbon emissions beginning in 2011. Now the oil and coal lobbies are pressuring Congress to gut the Clean Air Act and block EPA from going forward with its mission. Such attacks are misguided and irresponsible, and we must not let them succeed.

Since its passage in 1970, the Clean Air Act has been a huge success for public health, cutting pollution drastically, saving hundreds of thousands of lives, and preventing a million asthma attacks since its passage in 1970. It has helped protect our environment and has contributed to a growing economy. Emissions from the most common air pollutants have declined by over 40 percent in the last 20 years, saving thousands of lives. Independent studies have shown that the total economic benefits of the Clean Air Act have far outweighed compliance costs. Businesses have risen to the challenge through important technological innovations that have fueled job growth.

Supporters speak out in Bangor in support of the Clean Air Act. (Photo by John Armstrong)

Supporters speak out in Bangor in support of the Clean Air Act. (Photo by John Armstrong)

Senators Snowe and Collins voted against the Clean Air Act, and we can’t let Maine’s senators do it again. NRCM will fight these attacks on the Clean Air Act, and we will continue to work on climate legislation in the next Congress.

It is crucial that we send a strong message to Maine’s Senators to support clean air standards, including standards that will reduce carbon emissions. We must do everything we can to protect the one method we have in place to reduce global warming pollution for the planet our children will inherit. Please join our Action Network to stay informed of the latest news on this issue, and to learn about when and how you can take to protect the Clean Air Act.