Activists rallied in front of Congressman Tim Murphy’s office in Mount Lebanon today calling on him to better protect public health and end his foolish ties to the dirty coal industry.
He has repeatedly voted against policies that would limit harmful air pollution from sources like coal plants, although his district suffers from some of the worst air pollution in the nation. Both Allegheny and Westmoreland counties have failing or near failing air quality, exceeding safe levels of soot and smog that can cause lung disease, heart attacks and severe asthma attacks. In fact, right outside his office, a full twelve percent of students in the Mount Lebanon school district suffer from asthma.
“Congressman Murphy has consistently voted against protecting the health and wellbeing of the residents of Southwestern Pennsylvania,” said Randy Francisco, Organizing Representative of the Sierra Club. “It’s time he prioritizes the health of our families over the interests of the dirty coal corporations who consistently fund his campaigns.”
In the last year, he has voted multiple times to derail the Clean Air Act including votes to repeal a new clean air protection that would limit toxic mercury pollution that especially impact the most vulnerable among us. Pollution from burning coal spurs a host of serious, life-threatening health problems, inflicting children with asthma, stifling childhood development and cutting short thousands of lives.
“With much of his district suffering from terrible air quality and high asthma rates, it should be an easy decision for Congressman Murphy to support clean air protections,” said Mary Kate Ranii, Western Pennsylvania Field Associate for PennEnvironment. “Instead, he’s continued to make ‘fossil foolish’ votes that would eliminate life-saving clean air protections for his constituents.”
“There is a cure for the dirty pollution that’s making us sick. With the help of the EPA, we can clean up our air and water and protect our families by phasing out life-threatening coal pollution, while creating jobs that will power a clean and prosperous future,” said Patrick Grenter, Executive Director of the Center for Coalfield Justice and Mount Lebanon resident.