|7:10 PM EDT||
Eliot Engel, D-NY 16th
Mr. ENGEL. Madam Chair, I rise in strong opposition to this bill.
As far as I am concerned, this is just another attack on the EPA. Some of my colleagues have spent hundreds of hours this session attacking the EPA. May I remind them that Congress set up the EPA to regulate dangerous and toxic substances in order to keep our air and water clean. We must continue to support the EPA in this task. Who would not want clean air and clean water? I think the EPA does a fine job in protecting us.
My district has one of the highest asthma rates in the country. It is one of the reasons that I championed clean energy and have argued for strong EPA rules to help protect our children.
If this bill had been law already, the EPA could have been delayed or blocked from finalizing the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which set emissions limits for new coal- and oil-fired power plants for mercury and other toxic air pollutants. Why would anyone want to block the EPA from doing that? The EPA estimates that these new standards will save up to 11,000 lives and prevent 130,000 asthma attacks. That's good enough for me.
There are many, many reasons to continue to support the EPA. This bill, unfortunately, does not do that, so I urge my colleagues to oppose this bill and to support the EPA in a goal we should all share of protecting our air and water.