The American Lung Association is speaking out strongly against a bill that would remove the EPA’s ability to regulate activities that produce greenhouse gases, including an amendment offered by Sen. Debbie Stabenow that would eliminate that regulation for two years.

In a letter (.pdf) sent to all senators, the Lung Association and several other groups, including the American Public Health Association and Physicians for Social Responsibility, called on legislators to reject the entire bill and a series of amendments offered to it. The bill is quite blunt in its language:

The Administrator may not, under this Act, promulgate any regulation concerning, take action relating to, or take into consideration the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change.

And the number of substances it prevents the EPA from regulating is long and nearly without limit:

‘(1) Water vapor.
‘(2) Carbon dioxide.
‘(3) Methane.
‘(4) Nitrous oxide.
‘(5) Sulfur hexafluoride.
‘(6) Hydrofluorocarbons.
‘(7) Perfluorocarbons.
‘(8) Any other substance subject to, or proposed to be subject to, regulation, action, or consideration under this Act to address climate change.

The EPA can’t even take into consideration the emission of greenhouse gases or climate change in making any regulation, with a few listed exceptions for already existing regulation. Stabenow’s amendment would limit this restriction to a two-year period. The Lung Association letter rejects even temporary restrictions:

By blocking the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) authority to update clean air standards, each of the above amendments, in its own way, will weaken the Clean Air Act.

If passed by Congress, these amendments would interfere with EPA’s ability to implement the Clean Air Act; a law that protects public health and reduces health care costs for all by preventing thousands of adverse health outcomes, including: cancer, asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes, emergency department visits, hospitalizations and premature deaths.

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