“Do you have asthma as well? “


In his weekly address, filmed at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., the President discussed the EPA’s proposal to cut pollution from power plants.

Before he left the medical center, he talked with children whose asthma is aggravated by air pollution, and who would breathe easier as a result of the proposed actions.

Take a look at what the President and the kids had to say — then pass this on:

Watch the President talk with young asthma patients.

Stay Connected

Acting on Climate


By

The Impact Of The New Climate Protection Proposal, By The Numbers

As reported last week, the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled the latest piece in the Obama Administration’s Climate Action Plan today: a proposed rule to dramatically cut carbon pollution from America’s coal-fired power plants in the coming decades. “Climate inaction is costing us more money, in more places, more often,” said EPA Administration Gina McCarthy in the announcement. “This is an investment in better health and a better future for our kids.”

When it comes to the importance of this rule for public health and for slowing the effects of climate change, the numbers tell the story:

  • 491: The number of coal-fired power plants in the United States.
  • 42 years old: The average age of a coal-fired power plant.
  • 1/3: The share of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions that come from coal-fired power plants, the largest source in the United States.
  • 30 percent: The amount that the new standards aim to cut carbon emissions from the power sector by the year 2030, compared to 2005 levels.
  • 150 million: The number of cars that a 30 percent reduction in emissions from power plants is equal to–that’s two-thirds of all the nation’s passenger vehicles.
  • 6,600: The possible premature deaths avoided annually when a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions is achieved.
  • 150,000: The possible number of asthma attacks per year avoided when a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions is achieved.
  • 490,000: The possible number of missed school or work days avoided when a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions is achieved.
  • $93 billion: The possible economic value of the public health benefit when a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions is achieved.
  • $7: The amount in health benefits that Americans will see for every dollar invest as a result of this plan.
  • 27: The number of states that already have energy efficiency goals or standards in place.
  • 8 percent: The average projected decrease in electricity bills for consumers due to energy efficiency (contrary to opponents who claim bills will go up).
  • 50: The number of different ways the EPA proposal can be implemented, one for each state, according to Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Dan Utech. “This plan is all about flexibility,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in her announcement Monday morning. “That’s what makes it ambitious, but achievable.”
  • 70 percent: The share of Americans who say the federal government should require limits to greenhouse gases from existing power plants, including 63 percent of Republicans.
  • 63 percent: The share of Americans who want limits on greenhouse gases even if they raise monthly energy expenses by $20 a month.

Head over to Climate Progress for a more in-depth run down of the 8 things you should know about the biggest thing a President has ever done on climate change. They’ve also got some great reporting on the most ridiculous responses from political and industry opponents so far.

BOTTOM LINE: For other health threats like arsenic, mercury, and lead, we set limits on contaminants to keep people safe. But we let dirty power plants release as much carbon pollution into the air as they want. That needs to change. The new EPA rule is a huge step for public health and for our children’s futures. The companies that oppose this rule are desperate, dirty, and in denial. They were wrong in 1970 when we passed the Clean Air Act, they were wrong in 1990 when we took steps to stop acid rain, and they are wrong now.

A Moral Obligation


By

Obama Administration Set To Announce New Climate Protection Rule

On Monday, the Obama Administration will announce another step to reduce carbon pollution and address our climate crisis. New EPA standards will cut carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants – the single largest source of the country’s climate emissions. The rule, which stems from a 2007 Supreme Court decision saying that the EPA has the authority to limit climate pollution under the Clean Air Act, will protect public health from more air pollution, allergies, and tropical diseases. As the New York Times put it, this is “the strongest action ever taken by an American president to tackle climate change.” Needless to say, big polluters aren’t happy, and have already launched an aggressive misinformation campaign to block any action. It’s important for the public to have all the facts in this debate. Here are some of the most important:

The new standards are a breakthrough in protecting public health and slowing the effects of climate change. While many conservative politicians continue to deny that global warming is real and due to human activity, scientists are as certain that humans are causing climate change as they are that cigarettes are deadly. Communities across the US are already experiencing the effects of rising temperatures: massive droughts are driving up food prices and strengthening wildfires in the west; more intense hurricanes are pummeling the southeast; stronger rains are costing billions of dollars in damage in the northeast. Power generation is responsible for 40% of US carbon pollution. By significantly reducing pollution from coal-fired power plants, the EPA rule will help slow rising temperatures and the public health and economic havoc already evident.

States can employ a tested model that can spark home-grown clean energy solutions. The EPA rule will provide states with the flexibility to tailor carbon reduction strategies to what works best for them. This includes enabling states to create carbon pollution markets. It will also spur renewable and efficiency technological innovation and create 21st century jobs: the approach gives energy companies an incentive to invest in new clean energy technologies in order to reduce their long-term reliance on dirtier fossil fuels. Carbon pollution standards like this are already successful: the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a collaboration of nine northeastern states, started in 2003. Between 2005 and 2012, power plant pollution in these states dropped 40 percent, and at the same time the states raised $1.6 billion in new revenue.

The companies spreading misinformation are desperate, dirty, and in denial. Industry opponents of the new rule are already trotting out scare tactics before the Administration has even released the rule. The reality is that they simply don’t want to reduce their pollution because it affects their profits. The average coal-fired power plant in the United States is 38 years old, but some are nearly sixty years old. Coal plants are the number one contributor to carbon pollution. Some of these companies are responsible for horrible coal ash spills and other contamination of drinking water in North Carolina, West Virginia, and elsewhere. There have even been reports of coal companies deliberately hiding health threats like black lung from watchdogs and workers. Coal executives know that any serious attempt we make to protect the health of our kids and slow climate change has to include them.

Setting carbon pollution standards for coal power plants won’t destroy our economy. The primary aim of these opponents is to make this into a false choice – either cut pollution or create jobs. The reality is just the opposite: reducing carbon pollution will help modernize our economy, lead to new clean energy jobs, and save families money on their utility bills via more energy efficiency. We’ve heard the utility and coal companies’ argument before – in 1970 when we passed the Clean Air Act, and in 1990 when George H. W. Bush acted to stop acid rain caused by coal plants. These opponents were wrong then, and they are wrong now.

BOTTOM LINE: We have a moral obligation to our children to protect their health now, and leave them an inhabitable planet that is not permanently damaged. The Obama Administration’s forthcoming proposed rule to apply carbon pollution limits to our nation’s dirtiest coal-fired power plants is an important step in the fight against climate change and underscores the Administration’s commitment to addressing the problem. And despite what climate deniers and big polluters may say, these carbon standards will spur innovation and create 21st century clean energy jobs.

Sugar’s big problem


This sure beats a sugar rush: in just the last two days, more than 18,041 UCS activists have demanded that the Food and Drug Administration stop the food industry from misleading consumers about the sugar content of their food. This action is taking off—just one of the science-driven campaigns we’re ramping up right now to counter corporate misinformation and improve our health.

Keep us riding high—and keep up the pressure. Hold corporations accountable to the facts by pitching in whatever you can right now.

A growing body of scientific evidence shows that added sugar is detrimental to our health. Taking a page right out of Big Tobacco’s playbook, sugar companies are using front groups and “hired guns” to mislead the public about sugar risk—spending billions of dollars on advertising, a quarter of it targeting children.1

Together, we can get the word out. But we need your help now. Please, Chip in

DONATE NOW

Thank you,

John Mace
Membership Director

1. http://www.ucsusa.org/center-for-science-and-democracy/sugar-coating-science.html

the Senate ~~ CONGRESS ~~ the House


Pinterestwh_climate_banner Climate Change is real

The Senate stands adjourned until 10:00am on Tuesday, June 3, 2014.

Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will be in morning business until 11:00am with the Majority controlling the first half and the Republicans controlling the final half.

 

At 11:00am, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session to consider Executive Calendar #633, Keith Harper, of Maryland, for the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as United States Representative to the UN Human Rights Council, post-cloture, with the time until noon equally divided and controlled in the usual form.

 

At noon, all post-cloture time on the Harper nomination will be considered expired and there will be 2 roll call votes:

–        Confirmation of the Harper nomination and

–        Motion to invoke cloture on Executive Calendar #755, Sharon Bowen, of New York, to be a Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

 

Following the cloture vote on the Bowen nomination, the Senate will recess until 2:15pm to allow for the weekly caucus meetings.

 

Additional roll call votes on nominations are expected during Tuesday’s session.

At 12:00 noon today, there will be 2 roll call votes related to the following nominations:

 

  1. Confirmation of Executive Calendar #633, Keith Harper, of Maryland, for the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as United States Representative to the UN Human Rights Council; and
  2. Motion to invoke cloture on Executive Calendar #755, Sharon Bowen, of New York, to be a Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

 

If cloture is invoked on the Bowen nomination, there would be up to 8 hours for debate prior to a vote on confirmation of the nomination. We hope to reach an agreement that would allow us to vote on confirmation of the Bowen nomination this afternoon, potentially around 4:00pm.

Further, cloture was also filed on the below listed nominations and we will work on an agreement for consideration of those nominations.

–        Executive Calendar #691, Mark G. Mastroianni, of Massachusetts, to be United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts (up to 2 hours of post-cloture debate equally divided);

–        Executive Calendar #692,Bruce Howe Hendricks, of South Carolina, to be United States District Judge for the District of South Carolina (up to 2 hours of post-cloture debate equally divided);

–        Executive Calendar #733, Tanya S. Chutkan, of the District of Columbia, to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia (up to 2 hours of post-cloture debate equally divided); and

–        Executive Calendar #798, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, of West Virginia, to be Secretary of Health and Human Services (up to 30 hours of post-cloture debate).

12:01pm The Senate began a 15 minute roll call vote on confirmation of Executive Calendar #633, Keith Harper, of Maryland, for the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as United States Representative to the UN Human Rights Council;

Confirmed: 52-42

 

Next:

Motion to invoke cloture on Executive Calendar #755, Sharon Bowen, of New York, to be a Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

12:28pm The Senate began a 15 minute roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on Executive Calendar #755, Sharon Bowen, of New York, to be a Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission;

Invoked: 50-44

Cloture was invoked on the Bowen nomination 50-44. The Senate then reached an agreement to vote at 4:00pm on confirmation of the Bowen nomination and to vote on cloture on the 3 district court nominations. Also under the agreement, at 11:00am tomorrow, Wednesday, June 4, the Senate will proceed to vote on confirmation of the district court nominations and then cloture on the Burwell nomination.

 

The Senate stands in recess until 2:15pm for the caucus meetings.

 

The vote schedule is as follows:

 

4:00pm today, Tuesday, June 3—up to 4 roll call votes:

  1. Confirmation of Executive Calendar #755, Sharon Bowen, of New York, to be a Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
  2. Cloture on Executive Calendar #691, Mark G. Mastroianni, of Massachusetts, to be United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts
  3. Cloture on  Executive Calendar #692,Bruce Howe Hendricks, of South Carolina, to be United States District Judge for the District of South Carolina
  4. Cloture on Executive Calendar #733, Tanya S. Chutkan, of the District of Columbia, to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia

 

11:00am tomorrow, Wednesday, June 4—up to 4 roll call votes:

  1. Confirmation of Executive Calendar #691, Mark G. Mastroianni, of Massachusetts, to be United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts
  2. Confirmation of  Executive Calendar #692,Bruce Howe Hendricks, of South Carolina, to be United States Circuit Judge for the District of South Carolina
  3. Confirmation of Executive Calendar #733, Tanya S. Chutkan, of the District of Columbia, to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia
  4. Cloture on Executive Calendar #798, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, of West Virginia, to be Secretary of Health and Human Services (up to 30 hours of post-cloture debate)

WRAP UP

Roll Call Vote

  1. Confirmation of Executive Calendar #633, 113th Congress, 2nd Session” Executive Calendar #633, Keith Harper, of Maryland, for the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as United States Representative to the UN Human Rights Council; Confirmed: 52-42
  2. Cloture on Executive Calendar #755, 113th Congress, 2nd SessionExecutive Calendar #755, Sharon Bowen, of New York, to be a Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Invoked: 50-44
  3. Confirmation of Executive Calendar #755, 113th Congress, 2nd SessionExecutive Calendar #755, Sharon Bowen, of New York, to be a Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Confirmed: 48-46
  4. Cloture on Executive Calendar #691, 113th Congress, 2nd SessionExecutive Calendar #691, Mark G. Mastroianni, of Massachusetts, to be United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts; Invoked: 56-39
  5. Cloture on  Executive Calendar #692, 113th Congress, 2nd Session”Executive Calendar #692, Bruce Howe Hendricks, of South Carolina, to be United States Circuit Judge for the District of South Carolina; Invoked: 59-35
  6. Cloture on Executive Calendar #733, 113th Congress, 2nd Session”Executive Calendar #733, Tanya S. Chutkan, of the District of Columbia, to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia; Invoked: 54-40

 

Legislative items

Passed S.2270, Insurance Capital Standards Clarification Act of 2014, as amended by the Collins substitute amendment

Adopted S.Res.453, Condemning the death sentence against Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, a Sudanese Christian woman accused of apostasy

Adopted S.Res.464, National Aphasia Awareness Month

Adopted S.Res.465, Commemorating the centennial of Webster University

 

The Senate began the Rule 14 process to place S.2422, a bill to improve the access of veterans to medical services from the Department

of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes, on the Calendar of Business.

 

Executive items

The Senate confirmed the following nominations by vote votes:

 

Executive Calendar #752 Timothy G. Massad, of Connecticut, to be a Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission;

Executive Calendar #753 Timothy G. Massad, of Connecticut, to be Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; and

Executive Calendar #754 J. Christopher Giancarlo, of New Jersey, to be a Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

 

By unanimous consent, the Senate discharged the Agriculture Committee and confirmed PN #1642, the nomination of J. Christopher Giancarlo, of New Jersey, to be a Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for a term expiring April 13, 2019

========================================================

Last Floor Action:
12:04:20 P.M. – The Speaker announced that the House do now adjourn pursuant to section 3(b) of H. Res. 604.

The next meeting is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on June 5, 2014.

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