Please Contact Your Senators By January 20

     Since the Clean Air Act was enacted in 1970, the landmark law has kept millions of tons of pollutants out of the air we breathe. 

     But now, important authority granted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by the Clean Air Act is  threatened.  Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), with help from the powerful fossil fuels lobby, is making her second attempt in six months to amend the Clean Air Act. 

     If passed, Murkowski’s amendment would strip the EPA of its much of its enforcement authority and funding, taking away a key tool the agency has for addressing carbon pollution.  Murkowski’s amendment would prevent EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson from fulfilling her pledge to achieve significant reductions in carbon pollution.  Passage of the amendment would let coal plants and many other major emitters of carbon pollution off the hook for the next year.

      Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has granted Murkowski a vote on the Senate floor on Wednesday, January 20, although a later date is also a possibility.  One would think this amendment would be easy to stop, but many Democrats are considering supporting it.

     Please contact your two Senators, whether Democratic or Republican, to urge them to vote against the Murkowski amendment.  Make your contact before Jan. 20.   The message is simple:  “Sen. XX, please vote against the Murkowski amendment, which would weaken EPA’s authority to regulate coal plants and other major carbon emitters.”  

     To get your message to your Senators, you can simply make a call to each of their Washington offices.  Just call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3131.  Ask for the office of one of your Senators.  When you get through, you will be invited to leave your comment on an opinion line.  If you prefer to speak to an aide, you can opt for that, but increasingly, Congressional offices seem to prefer the opinion line approach.  Once you’ve left your message, just hang up, call the Capitol switchboard again, and ask for the office of your other Senator.  

     Or, if you prefer, you can email your Senators.  To find your Senators’ email addresses, just click on the site below:

http://www.contactingthecongress.org/ 

     A third approach is to contact your Senators’ local offices, which are set up in most major cities around each state. 

     And thanks.  In 2010 we need our Congress to pass clean energy and climate protection legislation.  We must not slip backward by undoing important authority already wielded by the top environmental protection body in the land.–April Moore

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