Barbara Boxer (D-CA) serves as the Majority Chairperson of the U.S. Senate Committee on Atmosphere and Public Works (EPW). She is the first girl to do so. It’s from this vantage level that she has been a steadfast advocate for youngsters, households and the atmosphere. Boxer is the mom of two children and the grandmother of four. I reached out to her for a Mothers Clear Air Power Mom’s Day unique interview.
How will upholding the EPA’s Cross State Air Pollution rule help families?
“Last month’s Supreme Court decision to uphold EPA’s Cross State Air Pollution Rule was a big win for families and youngsters throughout the nation. This rule is a vital public health safeguard, which reduces deadly air pollution that crosses state lines and threatens the well being of the American people. By making our air healthier to breathe, EPA’s rule will save lives and forestall up to 34,000 premature deaths a yr.”
You could have been outspoken concerning the significance of factoring within the “public well being impacts” of the tar sands oil when it comes to a call on the Keystone XL Pipeline proposal. What are your hopes for a resolution on this concern?
“There’s a growing concern concerning the harmful health impacts of tar sands oil and the Keystone XL pipeline. I, together with Senator Whitehouse, have written to Secretary of State John Kerry asking for a comprehensive well being affect examine on tar sands oil and the Keystone XL pipeline. We’ve got been joined by well-revered public well being professionals, resembling Nationwide Nurses United, the American Public Well being Association, the Nationwide Affiliation of County and City Well being Officials, in calling for a comprehensive health research on tar sands.
The State Department just lately agreed to include health issues as part of the Nationwide Curiosity Dedication, but we nonetheless want a full health research on how tar sands and the pipeline will impact all of the communities along the route. We all know that misery follows tar sands from extraction, to transportation, to refining, to waste storage. We should leave tar sands where they are-in the ground.”
You have got been a powerful advocate for the residential neighborhood of College Park, a low-earnings area in your district, the place the petroleum company of AllenCo Power Inc has been chargeable for quite a lot of illnesses. Can you comment on the disproportionate presence of chemical amenities in minority areas?
“Personally, I do not believe a petroleum company like the power in University Park ought to be placed in the midst of a residential neighborhood, but that is for the local authorities to determine. I used to be horrified after i toured the University Park neighborhood and interviewed girls and youngsters from families who had suffered from dizziness, headaches, respiratory ailments, and nosebleeds while the oil and gas pumping facility was operating. We can not enable kids and households in this neighborhood-and in others prefer it-to continue to endure from unacceptable health hazards like toxic air pollution.”
What are your ideas on the push for fracking, regardless of the quite a few health considerations that have been recognized?
“There are nonetheless many questions that need to be answered in regards to the security of natural gas exploration and hydraulic fracturing. The discovery of latest resources creates a chance for increased production of a cleaner, domestically-produced gas. Whereas this might have advantages for our nation’s economy and energy independence, it’s critical to ensure that exploration for natural gas is finished safely and responsibly, and that it does not threaten the air we breathe and the water we drink.”
Do you foresee any end to the tax breaks for oil corporations within the close to future?
“Particular pursuits have been in a position to block motion on ending tax breaks for Big Oil, however I will proceed the fight. We must finish loopholes and tax breaks that profit Large Oil, millionaires, company jet house owners, and firms that ship jobs overseas.”
You’ve got supported renewable clear vitality and pointed to the pollution in China for instance of the place America is headed if we don’t get proactive as a nation. Based mostly on the most recent IPCC report, you commented, “The longer we wait to act, the harder and more expensive it will be.” Opponents to renewable initiatives repeatedly pit “the economy” in opposition to “the setting.” Can you tackle this?
“The U.S. has proven we will proceed to protect the environment and grow the economic system. Over the past forty years, despite dire predictions from polluters, for the reason that passage of the Clear Air Act, air pollution has dropped 68 % and America’s GDP has grown 212 %. Landmark environmental laws have bolstered an environmental know-how and services sector that employs an estimated three.4 million people, in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And plenty of of those jobs, like installing photo voltaic roofs, cannot be outsourced. In 2013, the U.S. photo voltaic business employed over 142,000 People. Final yr alone, that industry added nearly 24,000 extra jobs–almost a 20 p.c enhance.
Clear energy solutions and inexperienced technology are crucial to future U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace. Over the next decade, funding in clear vitality technologies might attain $2.Three trillion and symbolize increased job and export market opportunity. This is excellent news for American staff. Addressing local weather change with clean power expertise is a win-win for the U.S. financial system.”
You’re an instance to girls political leaders and grassroots mom/activists. In your function as Chairperson of the EPW, you have to deal with other senators who’re “climate deniers.” You make a degree of pushing back and studying information into the report that reflects the scientific knowledge. Are you hopeful that your committee and the Congress will get by the partisan intransigence to deal with the science at the guts of local weather change?
“The most recent report by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) adds an incredible sense of urgency for Congress to wake up and do everything in its power to cut back dangerous carbon pollution. And the projections for the long run give us more cause to worry–a 2014 research in a peer reviewed journal printed by NIH predicts that by mid-century heat waves are expected to grow more and more more frequent–inflicting as much as 19 times more heat-associated deaths.
I’ve formed the Senate Local weather Action Task Power with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and we are working to “get up Congress” to local weather change. Petroleum Refinery Supplier We are lifelike about the present makeup of Congress and the issue in passing local weather change laws, but we aren’t going to sit down back or surrender attempting to lift visibility of the serious threats dealing with our nation. The nice information is that we’ve got a gaggle of 23 Senators who’re all committed to utilizing our bully pulpit to elevate the problem and “wake up Congress.”
Are you concerned that the monetary assist of the Koch Brothers, which is usually surreptitious, has added to the disinformation about environmental points in our country?
“The Koch Brothers have funded efforts to mislead the public in the face of a mountain of scientific proof that local weather change is actual and human actions are the trigger. And special pursuits have tried to obscure the fact that environmental safeguards are necessary in the case of the health and safety of the American individuals.
We know that local weather change is actual and we must take motion now to cut back carbon pollution. And we must protect our landmark environmental laws, which have literally saved lives. Rest assured that I will continue to shine a light on these points, which are so essential to the American folks.”
You’ve got labored to guard children from lead and chemicals. You said that the Court decision to uphold the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxic Standards was a “win for households.” Women and mothers have develop into a really vocal a part of the motion to protect the surroundings for future generations. What recommendation would you give them?
“We have to battle to protect the well being of our families and youngsters, and it is vitally important for people to make their voices heard to lawmakers on the local, state, and federal levels. We are the era that must sort out climate change and other vital points that influence public well being and the environment.