Climate Action


For Immediate Release                                                            Contact:  Lisa Swann September 15, 2010                                                                202 518-0044 ext. 14


Statement of Kathleen Rogers, President Earth Day Network On Anniversary of the Clean Air Act

  “One of the key accomplishments of the original Earth Day was passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970. “The Clean Air Act has been strengthened over the years and has achieved results for public health and the environment.  According to the EPA, in the year 2010 the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 will prevent 23,000 Americans from dying prematurely, and avert over 1,700,000 incidences of asthma attacks and aggravation of chronic asthma. “In addition, in 2010, the act will prevent 67,000 incidences of chronic and acute bronchitis, 91,000 occurrences of shortness of breath, 4,100,000 lost work days, and 31,000,000 days in which Americans would have had to restrict activity due to air pollution related illness. “The Act has substantial economic benefits as well – According to the EPA the Clean Air Act programs were estimated to save a range from about $6 trillion – $50 trillion in human health, human welfare, and environmental effects when expressed in dollar terms from 1970-1990.  In addition, the Clean Air Act has created tens of thousands of jobs in the pollution control industry and in technology and compliance. “In California, the greenhouse gas pollution control law AB32 has created nearly 500,000 new green tech jobs. “Cities and towns have done much to help cut more than 23 million tons of greenhouse gasses – also a major air pollutant – equivalent to the emissions produced by 1.8 million households — in 2009 alone. “Some 205,000 Americans were estimated to die prematurely without the CAA.  Millions were estimated to suffer respiratory illnesses: heart disease, chronic bronchitis, and asthma attacks.  The act’s control on the use of leaded gasoline prevented major increases in child IQ loss and adult hypertension, heart disease, and stroke. “However, the law has not always been strictly enforced and there have been multiple efforts to gut it and it is likely that another effort is already underway in the Senate during the current session.  As Americans, we have a long legacy to protect with the law that has reaped and will continue to yield benefits for our health, the environment, and our economy.” About Earth Day Network Earth Day Network was founded on the premise that all people, regardless of race, gender, income, or geography, have a moral right to a healthy, sustainable environment. Our mission is to broaden and diversify the environmental movement worldwide, and to mobilize it as the most effective vehicle for promoting a healthy, sustainable environment. We pursue our mission through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer activism campaigns. Earth Day Network’s campaigns and programs are predicated on the belief that an educated, energized population will take action to secure a healthy future for itself and its children. The organization has a global reach with a network of more than 22,000 partners and organizations in 190 countries. Earth Day Network is a 501(c)3 organization located in Washington, D.C.