Langevin, Kennedy Urge Defeat of Anti-Environmental Legislation

Date: March 1, 2005
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Environment

Proposal to be Considered by Senate Tomorrow
March 1, 2005

(Washington, D.C.)-Congressmen Jim Langevin and Patrick Kennedy today reiterated their support for the Clean Air Act and urged their colleagues in the Senate to defeat a proposal that would severely weaken current environmental laws.

In a letter to Senator Inhofe, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Langevin and Kennedy stated:

"Rhode Island is called the Ocean State because we have over 400 miles of beautiful coastline. Unfortunately, toxic mercury has contaminated our fish to such an extent that the state Department of Health has issued a statewide advisory warning pregnant women, women of childbearing age and children to avoid eating any freshwater fish caught in any of Rhode Island's waterways. Global warming pollution threatens to erode our coast, put our shoreline residents at risk, and disrupt our booming beach tourist industry. We must combat these problems by strengthening the enforcement of the current Clean Air Act, not by weakening the law."

"Rather than weaken current environmental laws, the United States Senate should consider proposals to strengthen regulations that seek to provide Rhode Islanders with a cleaner and more healthy state," said Congressman Langevin. "The legislation under consideration by the Senate would allow power plants to ignore pollution control measures and contribute to global warming problems by failing to require minimum carbon dioxide emissions standards. Allowing this legislation to pass in committee would be a giant step towards eliminating all of the progress we have made towards a cleaner and safer Rhode Island."

Added Kennedy, "Given the number of plants that we have in southeastern New England, this matter is of particular importance to Rhode Islanders. Protecting our environment is a matter of pride. After all, it is one of the greatest legacies we leave behind to our children. By allowing key laws, like the Clean Air Act, to be weakened, we are endangering our health and the health of those who come after us. We cannot allow greedy corporate polluters to be successful in their efforts, and I sincerely hope my colleagues recognize that."