Living in Rhode Island, I’m very interested in what happens in Massachusetts. We’re such close neighbors that there are times, as I drive home to the coast, that I’m not sure which state I’m in.
I was delighted when Massachusetts joined a regional initiative to cut down power company emissions--which include not only carbon dioxide, but many air toxics, like mercury. State senator Scott Brown helped push this initiative through. Hurray!
But last week? BOO! Scott Brown, now a US Senator, voted to strip the EPA of the authority to regulate any greenhouse gases. Brown went from being a conservationist to voting with Senators who cynically refuse to acknowledge the science linking climate change and greenhouse gases.
Brown and his cohorts are against government regulation. But there are times when regulation is all that stands in the way of a healthy world, and a polluted one. The Clean Air Act is one of those jewels of regulation--though even it hasn't been enforced enough. If you want to see what it is like to live without government enforcement of pollution controls, go breathe the air in China and India. We’re lucky that Brown's bill last week did not pass. But you can see what is at stake. And you can believe the fight will go on.
Among the people who contributed generously to Brown’s campaign is pro-polluter David Koch. Brown thanked Koch for his support during the election campaign: it “meant a ton,” as Brown put it.
I don’t think he meant a ton of pollution.
But moms and dads in Massachusetts ought to be up in arms about Brown’s reversal. Dangerous emissions from coal plants pollute everyone’s air. Mercury is especially dangerous to fetuses.
And what about moms and dads working in the growing clean energy sector in Massachusetts? Brown’s vote isn’t helping protect their jobs either.
Write to Brown’s office and let him know your support means tons, too.