During the 112th Congress, numerous members of both the House and Senate continue to threaten to block the EPA from enforcing commonsense safeguards to curb pollution and protect public health. However, proposed legislation against the EPA has been met with staunch criticism from the media and a lack of public support.
This weekend, two of the nation's largest newspapers published editorials defending the EPA's ability to implement safeguards against dangerous carbon pollution.
The New York Times writes:
"In his State of the Union address, President Obama promised to protect "common-sense safeguards" to the nation's environment. The rules under siege in Congress will help clean the air, reduce toxic pollution in fish and slow emissions of greenhouse gases. It is hard to imagine anything more sensible than that."The Los Angeles Times argues:
"EPA efforts under the Clean Air Act to mandate catalytic converters in cars, regulate smokestack emissions that produce acid rain or to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals have been met by predictions of economic catastrophe by conservatives and industry for 40 years. Instead, such actions have saved tens of thousands of lives, stopped the environmental devastation caused by acid rain and countered the ozone threat even as the nation's gross domestic product has grown to 14 times what it was in 1970."Moreover, the threat of anti-EPA legislation from Capitol Hill comes as recent polling finds that a majority of Americans favor incentivizing clean energy alternatives rather than stripping the EPA of its protections. According to USA Today:
"A USA TODAY/Gallup survey finds Americans also place a high priority on developing alternative energy sources such as solar and wind, which President Obama called for in his State of the Union address. Of eight actions Congress could take this year, Americans most favored an energy bill providing alternative power incentives (83%) over issues such as overhauling the federal tax code (76%) or speeding up the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan (72%)."