Menendez Applauds Defeat of Anti-Environment, Pro-Polluter Resolution

Menendez Applauds Defeat of Anti-Environment, Pro-Polluter Resolution

Senate Votes Down Republican Resolution to end Administration’s Efforts to Protect Down Wind States Like New Jersey from Toxic Power Plant Pollution

Washington - Following remarks on the Senate floor in support of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today applauded the defeat of a Republican led effort to repeal safeguards which protect down-wind states like New Jersey from toxic power plant pollution. The Senate defeated the Republican measure by a 56-41vote.

"In defeating this pro-polluter resolution, the Senate today voted for saving 34,000 lives per year, $120 billion in economic benefits, cleaner air, and our children's health," said Menendez.

New Jersey is one of the states more directly impacted from polluters to its west. The Cross-State Air Pollution rule is supported by the NJ Chamber of Commerce and the state's largest utility, PSE&G. It would:

· save over 1,200 lives per year in New Jersey starting in 2014

· save up to 34,000 lives, prevent 400,000 asthma attacks, and avoid 1.8 million lost work or sick days per year nationally;

· create economic benefits that are estimated to be between $120 billion and $280 billion each year.

Last week, Senator Menendez urged New Jersey Governor Christie to join colleagues from other Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states in defending the Cross-State Air pollution rule. Christie announced his decision to appeal a federal court ruling on a polluting Pennsylvania Power plant, but the NJ Governor still has not come out in support of the Cross-State Air pollution rule.

FULL TEXT OF REMARKS AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY

M. President, I rise today in support of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule that protects down-wind eastern-states like New Jersey from up-wind power plant pollution.

I rise in defense of the lives and breathable-air of the people of New Jersey. Last week I asked the governor of my state to join this fight.

After all, this rule is supported by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and our largest utility because it's good for business. They know it's only fair to level the playing field for New Jersey businesses since we have already substantially cleaned-up our electric generation facilities. And the rule is supported by just about everyone in the public health community because it will save an estimated 1,200 lives per year in New Jersey beginning in 2014. Nationally it will save up to 34,000 lives, prevent 400,000 asthma attacks, and avoid 1.8 million lost sick days per year starting in 2014. And the economic benefits of this rule are estimated to reach anywhere from $120 billion to $280 billion each year.

M. President, we are all focused like a laser on the economy, on jobs, on reducing deficits and looking at the bottom line, but this rule does not force that choice. It's a good rule for the economy. It's a good rule for the health and well-being of Americans down-wind from the toxic emissions of power plants.

Let us be clear, M. President, coal power plants enjoy an enormous subsidy that we are trying to repeal with this rule. These polluters can prematurely end 34,000 lives per year and not have to pay anything for that loss. To put 34,000 lives in perspective, that is almost as many American lives as are claimed by breast cancer every year.

So, I ask my colleagues to join me in voting against the Paul resolution and vote for saving 34,000 lives per year, vote for over $120 billion in economic benefits, vote for cleaner air, and vote for keeping our children healthy. It is time for us all to see this disapproval resolution for what it is. A pass for polluting industries that make us sick without paying for the costs that creates. Please join me in defeating this shortsighted resolution.

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