Millions Denied Vital Protection for the Air They Breathe

Yesterday, a historic air pollution rule that would save approximately 34,000 lives per year was handed a major defeat.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on a 2-1 vote has overturned the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, thwarting the EPA’s efforts at curbing pollution from power plants in the eastern part of the country.

Judge Judith Rogers, the lone dissenting judge on the court, said that the EPA was being “blindsided by arguments raised for the first time in this court” - a reference to the fact that the court was breaking with precedent in which there was an understood jurisdictional limit placed on the U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit.

Air pollution that travels from state to state is a serious problem. The amounts of sulfur, nitrogen and smog that travel across the 28 eastern states that this rule attempted to regulate can often rise to extremely dangerous levels. In addition to improving the environment, the EPA’s rule would have been a godsend for hundreds of thousands of asthma sufferers and saved billions of dollars in health care costs.

Sadly, it seems that it is justice denied for these vulnerable populations and for the environment. The Obama administration should appeal this decision. You can contact the White House directly at their website by filling out this form.