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posted: 3/14/2010 12:01 AM

Senators, defend Clean Air Act

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As polluters ramp up efforts across the country that weaken pollution regulations, our senators must stand strong.

The pollution that causes global warming and the industries that create it have wide-ranging negative economic effects. This includes reliance on increasingly expensive fossil fuels and being subject to unstable energy prices, not to mention disrupting the already fragile ecosystems around Lake Michigan.

After years of inaction, the United States is poised to finally start reducing its global warming pollution. However, the U.S. Senate is on the brink of voting in the next few weeks on a measure that would block President Obama from enforcing the Clean Air Act to fight global warming.

Senator Lisa Murkowski's Dirty Air Act would strike at the heart of the Clean Air Act, a law with a very long track record of cutting dangerous pollution, protecting Americans' health and the environment and spurring technological innovation. By blocking long-overdue actions to clean up the biggest polluters, Murkowski's amendment would keep America dependent on oil and other dirty energy sources, threatening our health and environment, and costing us new clean energy jobs and improved national security.

Frankly, I'm appalled Sen. Murkowski is working so hard to attack attempts to mitigate global warming and discount the science that unequivocally shows it is happening.

This vote is a true test of whether our lawmakers will act to protect the public and allow America to compete economically in the coming decades, or if Big Oil and Coal call the shots in the Senate. Senators Durbin and Burris should vote against this attack on the Clean Air Act.

Michael Sherling

Vernon Hills