EMILY’s List women have consistently supported legislation that would keep America’s air cleaner. The landmark Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 saw support from EMILY’s List members in both the House and Senate. That bill led to steadily improving air quality over the last two decades.
EMILY’s List women also fought against subsidies for oil and gas companies and exemptions for fracking that would lead to more air pollution and damage to the environment. Many EMILY’s List Representatives took to the House floor to speak in opposition to President Bush’s 2005 Energy Policy. Those women included Rep. Lois Capps who criticized the bill for giving “billions to industries with already-soaring profits, [while] weaken[ing] a host of environmental laws.”
2009 saw the introduction of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, also known as Cap-And-Trade legislation. The bill would have established energy efficiency standards for energy providers and a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions. It also would have established emissions reductions goal of 83 percent of 2005 levels by 2050. EMILY’s List alum, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, called the bill a “historic step forward to revitalize our economy and get America running on clean energy.”
Improving air quality is vital to the health of American women and children, as they are the most affected by pollution related-diseases like asthma.
Air Quality in the United States Has Improved Since the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. According to a 2011 EPA report, air quality has improved continuously across the U.S. since the Clean Air Act was amended more than two decades ago. The downward trend in air pollution has been especially evident over the past several years. Air pollution levels are also decreasing in America’s major cities. [EPA: Our Nation’s Air, February 2012]
Improving Air Quality is Vital to American Women and Children. Long-term exposure to air pollution has been tied to risk of asthma. Among adults, asthma is more common among women than men. And in the overall population, asthma is more common in children than adults, 7-10% of children versus 3-5% of adults. Nearly 5 million asthma sufferers are less than 18; it is the most common of chronic childhood diseases, affecting more than one in twenty children. Nearly half (44%) of all asthma hospitalizations are for children. [Health Day News, 6/21/11; Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, accessed 2/27/12]
EPA Funding Has Increased Eight-Fold Since Its Inception. In 1970 the EPA was established with just over 1 billion dollars in funding. In 2012 it received $8,449,385,000. That money goes to fund many different environmental projects each year. In 2011, EPA funding worked to improve air quality in the Southeast by working with the Tennessee Valley Authority on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. [EPA Agency Financial Report 2011, 11/5/11]