Knoxville, Tenn. — In response to the United States House of Representatives’ passage of a spending bill (H.R. 1) last weekend, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) released the following statement from Executive Director Dr. Stephen A. Smith:
“The spending bill necessary to fund federal programs and agencies for the second half of the 2011 fiscal year was laden with amendments, some of which would block funding for key environmental safeguards such as clean air, clean water, and climate change protections. Some of the spending bill’s 51 amendments will recklessly and knowingly endanger public health, particularly those that prevent regulators from enforcing the Clean Air Act.
“SACE applauds the leadership of those Southeastern members of Congress from both parties who championed policies and programs to safeguard and protect human and environmental health, including Reps. Brown, Castor, Deutch, Hastings and Wasserman-Schultz of Florida; Reps. Barrow, Bishop, Johnson, Lewis and David Scott of Georgia; Reps. Butterfield, Jones, Kissell, McIntyre, Miller, Price, Shuler and Watt of North Carolina; Rep. Clyburn of South Carolina and Reps. Cohen and Cooper of Tennessee.
“We are greatly offended by the sheer number of politicians from our region who voted in favor of industry profits over life-saving protective health standards. Many of those same leaders showed just how out-of-step they are with the general public by slashing funding for programs that safeguard human health while voting to maintain $53 billion in taxpayer subsidies for the already-profitable oil, coal and gas industries. These out-of-step leaders include Reps. Adams, Bilirakis, Buchanan, Crenshaw, Diaz-Balart, Mack, Mica, Miller, Nugent, Posey, Rooney, Rivera, Ross, Ros-Lehtinen, Southerland, Stearns, Webster, West and Young of Florida; Reps. Broun, Gingrey, Graves, Kingston, Price, Austin Scott, Westmoreland and Woodall of Georgia; Coble, Ellmers, Foxx, McHenry and Myrick of North Carolina; Duncan, Gowdy, Mulvaney, Scott and Wilson of South Carolina; and Roe, Duncan, Fleischmann, DeJarlais, Black, Blackburn and Fincher of Tennessee.
“Attacking protective health standards not only endangers our children and their health, but it also sends the wrong market signals and endangers economic growth in the clean energy economy. We risk shifting from the mindset of ‘polluters should pay‘ to ‘it pays to pollute.’
“We call on Senators, especially those from the Southeast, to reject this bold move against decades-old, bi-partisan environmental and health protections as they continue with negotiations to complete a spending bill by the March 4th deadline. # # #