The Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act is one of the most successful, cost-effective, and popular pieces of environmental legislation ever passed by the United States Congress. Since it was signed into law 40 years ago, the act has protected us from numerous airborne pollutants found to threaten public health and welfare. Right now, big, dirty polluters are working to re-write the Clean Air Act to protect their record profits and block action on climate change.

Why the Clean Air Act is important

  • The Clean Air Act is the best tool we have for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fighting climate change at the national level.
  • The Clean Air Act requires regulation of all airborne pollutants found to threaten public health based on the latest scientific research. Rolling back any Clean Air Act requirements is equivalent to rejecting the latest science.
  • The Clean Air Act drives technological innovation by requiring the oldest, dirtiest industries to reduce their pollution, giving them a powerful reason to update and keep up with new, cleaner technologies.

The Clean Air Act in Two Minutes

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Stopping the "Dirty Air Acts"

Efforts to use back-door Senate procedures to gut the Clean Air Act -- like Senator Lisa Murkowski's (R-AK) in the summer of 2010 -- are of grave concern. Bills introduced by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Representative Nick Rahall (D-WV) would put a two-year freeze on the Clean Air Act enforcement that is needed to reduce global warming emissions from big polluters. There is even danger that clean air protections could be crippled by an upcoming Senate climate and energy bill.

In 2007, the relatively conservative Supreme Court reaffirmed that big polluters must be held accountable for their pollution under Clean Air Act if any pollutants they emit are found to represent a threat to public health. The Clean Air Act gives us a way to hold big polluters like coal plants and oil refineries accountable for their pollution, which is essential whether or not climate legislation passes in 2010.

Earlier this year, the 1Sky network engaged in a series of large scale office visits to federal officials who we believed to be undecided on climate issues to urge them to vote against any attempts to gut the Clean Air Act. Over the next 6 months, whether we see comprehensive action in the Senate or not, 1Sky will continue to move push to show that the will exists in the United States to move forward with bold and comprehensive federal action on climate and to protect and use existing tools we have like the Clean Air Act.

More Information on the CAA


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