WASHINGTON – Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), issued the following statement in response to a report by Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham Young University, published in today's New England Journal of Medicine, which suggests that over the past two decades, cleaner air has helped increase Americans’ life spans.
Sen. Carper said:
“This new, federally funded study shows once again that there are significant and measurable health benefits that come from cleaning up the air we breathe. It also reminds us there is more work to be done.
“The report shows that in the nearly two decades since Congress passed revisions to the Clean Air Act, air quality has improved and lives have been saved. But it also reinforces what many of us have been saying for years – we in Washington can and must do more to help Americans live longer lives by continuing to require greater reductions on harmful pollutants from our factories, power plants and diesel engines. As I often say, if it isn’t perfect, make it better.
“In my home state of Delaware, more than 80,000 adults and children suffer from asthma and are affected by polluted air each year. Delaware is at the end of what I call the ‘nation’s tailpipe.’ Pollution generated in other states is carried to Delaware by wind, but Delaware has no authority to clean it up. That is why it is time for nationwide regulations on dangerous pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury and carbon dioxide, all of which are addressed in my Clean Air Planning Act.
“In the coming year, Congress will consider major clean air legislation and as chairman of the Clean Air and Nuclear Safety subcommittee I will work closely with the new Administration to pass legislation that cleans our nation’s air and makes it safe to breathe.”