Sierra Club launching campaign to defend EPA air rules

The campaign goes beyond efforts by Republicans to block EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. The groups are also concerned that Republicans will move to restrict the agency’s other attempts to reduce air pollution, including upcoming rules on ozone and particulate matter and air pollution from industrial boilers.

Brune said the Sierra Club will be “pushing for the strongest possible rules coming from the EPA.” And the group will be organizing at the local level to push coal power plants to install technology to reduce air emissions.

The group will also be targeting lawmakers who vote for proposals to block EPA rules. “We’re going to make very clear to those who seek to weaken EPA safeguards that there is a price to be played at the ballot,” Brune said.

Kristen Welker-Hood, director of environment and health at Physicians for Social Responsibility, underscored the health affects of exposure to air pollution, noting that it contributes to heart disease, cancer and strokes. Air pollution is “probably the biggest public health risk that we face,” she said.