Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, gave the following remarks after the Senate defeated a measure (S.J.Res 27) that would have stifled the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to have states limit their cross-border air pollution under the Clean Air Act.
“It doesn’t take a scientist to understand that air pollution doesn’t stop at a state borderline. The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule that was under attack is especially important to Maryland, which, despite having some of the strictest clean air rules in the country, continues to suffer from dirty air because of pollution from other states. More than half of the smog in Maryland that leads to asthma attacks every summer comes from out of state and repealing this rule would have threatened the health and well-being of our citizens who live down-wind of heavy pollution-generating states.
“Maryland is doing its part to protect public health from harmful air pollution and has demonstrated that it is possible to do so while stimulating the economy and maintaining affordable and reliable energy. Maryland’s experience reducing air pollution by implementing the toughest power plant emissions law on the East Coast shows that technological progress in the name of public health can actually boost employment and stimulate the economy. Far from killing jobs, the new technologies that this rule promotes offer an exciting opportunity to create jobs. In fact, Maryland –with some of the strongest air pollution standards in the entire country – found that putting those standards into place has created substantial numbers of good-paying jobs, all while maintaining affordable and reliable energy.
“We absolutely can control pollution while growing our economy and putting Americans back to work. Maryland is showing that it can be done. It’s time to put the scare tactics behind us and get on with the business of protecting human health and the environment.”
Maryland’s largest power company, Constellation Energy, is in favor of strong emissions regulations for power providers, and Constellation is not alone. Companies including PG&E, Exelon, and many others, have come out in favor of strong rules like these that promote both environmental stewardship and job-creating investments in new technologies.