Daniel Reilly, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the TRAIN Act:
"For decades public health has been the basis for how we enact emissions standards. The bill before us today, the TRAIN Act, represents a view of environmental protection that is simply off the rails.
"Initially drafted to study the effect of new and proposed clean air rules, it has troublingly morphed into a bill blocking action on them indefinitely. First, it would prohibit the EPA from finalizing its rule to reduce mercury emissions. This rule had its origin in the 1990 Clean Air Act, which passed this House with a strong bipartisan vote of 401-25. An American Lung Association study earlier this year found that today 70% of Republicans still support stricter limits on mercury. Second, the TRAIN Act would prevent the implementation of new rules protecting communities from pollutants drifting over from out-of-state.
"Clean air regulations are ultimately investments in our economy. They save us hundreds of billions of dollars each year in health costs from associated lung ailments. Even further, they incentivize the growth of clean technologies that will help us remain competitive and increase our innovation and manufacturing strength here in America.
"While I oppose this bill overall, Congressmen Connolly and McNerney have proposed amendments that would refocus the bill where Congress’s attention belongs – job creation. Their amendments would support Democrats’ Make it in America plan by studying the job-creating effects of pollution controls. Additionally, Congresswoman Richardson’s amendment would prevent a cut in the program reauthorized just last year by voice vote that supports American-made technology to reduce diesel bus exhaust.
"Now is not the time to debate the environmental protections supported overwhelmingly and on a bipartisan basis, which carry tangible health and economic benefits. Instead we should be focusing on serious steps to get more Americans back to work."