Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Quigley Defends the EPA in its Life Saving Mission

Feb 9, 2011

Last night, Representative Quigley delivered the following remarks on the House floor:


Well, I want to thank you so much for having me. I want to thank my colleague from New York for his efforts and for everyone who is her tonight towards this end. And this issue is critical, not just to our health, and our nation's health, but also to our country's national security and our economy.

Madam Speaker, I rise today to protect the integrity of, all things, of science.

It is this science, these facts and figures, that have lead hundreds of scientists to confirm that global warming is real.

It is this science that lead the Supreme Court, through jurisprudence, to rule that the Environmental Protection Agency does in fact have the authority to regulate greenhouse gasses.

And, it is this science that lead the Congress to pass the Clean Air Act, the Act; the Act which designated the EPA as the body charged with overseeing, adapting and implementing these regulations.

In the coming months, the EPA will begin regulating greenhouse gases from certain emitters for the first time.

These regulations have become hugely controversial and sadly, political.

These rules seek to combat man-made climate change; man made climate change that is melting our polar ice caps, that is raising the levels of our oceans, and that is modifying our seasonal temperatures.

Man made climate change that is altering the duration of our growing season, that is flooding part of the worlds, and causing multi-year draughts in others.

Man made climate change that is allowing particulate matters to infiltrate our children's lungs, making them suffer from lifelong asthma and making us die earlier.

But, some would argue, these rules, these new regulations are burdensome, that they kill jobs, they imperil our economic recovery, they are nonsensical, they aren't pragmatic.

That is nonsensical.

Let's take the EPA's proposed rule regarding toxic emissions from industrial boilers.

A seemingly innocuous rule, right?


This rule called for the cleanup of units that burn fuel onsite to provide electricity and heat.

This action would cut mercury, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and acid gases by requiring facilities to install equipment to clean up these toxic emissions.

This so-called "job-killing rule would, as predicted by EPA, save from 2,000 to 5,100 lives each year.

The need to crackdown on greenhouse gas emissions is based on sound science"the result of hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific studies that say global warming is real and that man contributes to it. And if you're keeping score at home, there are zero peer-reviewed scientific studies that say global warming is not real and that man does not contribute to it.

But more than that, the need to crackdown on greenhouse gas emissions,the need to give EPA the tools to do their duty, as mandated by Congress and deemed their responsibility by the Supreme Court,

This issue certainly is lethal.

It kills people.

And, my friends who oppose this radical fight against "global warming “ you can't work if you're dead.

December 31st, 2010, marked the 40th anniversary of the Clean Air Act.

The Clean Air Act has saved the lives of over 160,000 people, as conservatively estimated by the EPA.

This issue, then, is a public health issue.

Chicago, my hometown, is in the midst of a public health crisis.

We are the morbidity and mortality capitol of the United States for asthma.  Having two children who face this ailment, it strikes near and dear to home.

We're dealing with skyrocketing rates of death due to asthma “ but, we're not the only city with this problem.

A report released by the American Lung Association reported nearly 60 percent of Americans live in areas where air pollution has reached unhealthy levels that can and does make people sick.

Yet, we're standing here on the House floor arguing against job-preserving measures.

Measures that will keep us alive, and able to work.

Measures that will create jobs in the clean and green industrial areas.

As Al Gore wrote in 2005, "it is now clear that we face a deepening global climate crisis that requires us to act boldly, quickly and wisely.

Attacks on the Clean Air Act and the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gasses are a huge piece of the larger climate crisis, a crisis that has a hefty cost “ our health and our lives.