NRDC: National Latino Groups Call on Congress to Protect Clean Air and Our Health

Source: Natural Resources Defense Council

Adrianna Quintero’s Blog

Today, groups representing millions of Latinos across the United States spoke in a unified voice to call on members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to stop any efforts to block, delay or prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from implementing the Clean Air Act (CAA) to reduce life-threatening pollution.

For forty years, the Clean Air Act has protected the health of millions in the United States from dangerous pollutants. That’s why the dangers of several political ploys to stop EPA from limiting emissions cannot be underestimated.

Bills proposed by Representative Upton, Senator Inhofe as well as senate proposals by Senators McConnell, Rockefeller and Baucus to block all or some of the EPA’s ability to reduce carbon pollution, and amendments to the bill to reauthorize the Small Business Innovative Research program all pose a very real threat to the health and well-being of millions of people.

A recent report by the US Environmental Protection Agency (The Benefits and Costs of the Clean Air Act from 1990 to 2020) found that cutting pollution through the Clean Air Act prevented 160,000 premature deaths in 2010 as well as over 1.7 million asthma attacks last year — benefits that would be lost if these politically motivated bills and amendments were to pass.

For Latinos, who often bear the brunt of pollution impacts, the impacts would be even more serious. In the U.S. today, one out of every 10 children are affected by asthma, a staggering number in itself. Latino children, however, fare far worse being 60% more likely to develop asthma than non-Hispanic white children. Sadly, Latinos are also three times as likely to die of asthma as white non-Hispanics.

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