PITTSBURGH – Today, Texas Governor Rick Perry unveiled a proposing to remove protections against pollution generated by the coal and gas industry. Gov. Perry’s speech comes as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency prepares to set standards to limit the air pollution associated with gas drilling.
In response, PennEnvironment’s Field Director Adam Garber made the following statement:
“Governor Perry is using the economy as an excuse to push the agenda of big polluters, but the health and welfare of Pennsylvanians would be the real victims of this plan.”
“So far, gas drilling has been one disaster after another for our air, land, and water here in Pennsylvania. Governor Perry’s proposal to keep the Texas-based oil and gas industry virtually unregulated will doom our state to more of the same – more pollution, more explosions, and more parks and forests decimated.”
“One of the measures Governor Perry would roll back is EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which addresses the problem of pollution drifting over state lines, and is set to take effect at the start of next year.
“The EPA’s rule will have major rewards for Pennsylvania. By EPA estimates, reducing pollutants like smog and soot from power plants inside and outside of the state will save up to 2,911 lives, prevent 1382 heart attacks, 731 hospitalizations, and 672 ER visits in Pennsylvania every year. Air quality improvement from this rule could benefit the over 2.77 million children at risk for asthma in Pennsylvania. It will also “prevent 118,935 lost work days due to these illnesses and provide about $24 billion in benefits to Pennsylvania each year.
“Governor Perry says we can save money on our utility bills by doing away with EPA’s regulations of dirty energy industries but we’d rather not trade lives for pennies.
“Pennsylvanians need EPA’s enforcement of the cross-state air pollution rule and others that will protect our health and environment.
“Further, we welcome the EPA’s plan to limit air pollution from gas drilling and urge them to set the strongest possible standard.”