Congressman Bobby Rush

Representing the 1st District of Illinois


As the Ranking Democratic Member of the Energy Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I am committed to protecting our nation’s air and water supply by fighting efforts to reduce funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as any attempts to overturn the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, or any additional environmental protection laws that have been under assault.

With the Trump Administration and House Republicans’ reckless attacks on the EPA, I am more determined than ever to fight any proposals that would defund the agency and repeal clean air and clean water laws that have been on the books for over 40 years.  I believe in a balanced approach that promotes clean energy and efficiency, protects the environment, and provides for commonsense rules and regulations that allow industry to plan and prosper.

Research tells us that low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by dirty air and water.  Low-income communities are more likely to be located closer to coal-fired power plants and, therefore, are more likely to suffer from health issues resulting from dirty air and water.  According to a 2002 Clean the Air report 68% of African-Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant.

Additionally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that “low-income populations, minorities, and children living in inner cities experience more emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths due to asthma than the general population.”  In fact, according to the American Lung Association, asthma attacks send African-Americans to the emergency room at more than three times the rate of white Americans and almost 1 in 10 African-American children suffer from asthma.  These results are not limited to African-Americans.  According to a 2006 CDC study, 12.7% of Hispanic children have asthma compared to 8% of non-Hispanic white children.

Now is not the time to defund and attempt to dismantle the EPA or repeal commonsense laws that were enacted — with bipartisan support — to protect the American public, especially those most vulnerable communities.  We need a sensible approach that promotes clean and renewable sources of energy, encourages investment in new energy technologies, and helps employ more Americans by making our country more energy efficient and independent.  I am committed to fighting towards this goal and I vow to never let profit come before health as we shape our energy policy for the 21st century.

More on Energy

Apr 21, 2011 Press Release

CHICAGO –– Good morning Chairmen Rugai and Balcer and Members of the Committees.

I am elated to be here with you, this morning, having been afforded this opportunity to testify at your joint committee hearing in support of the Clean Power Ordinance. I would especially like to commend Alderman Joe Moore, of the 49th Ward, for introducing this ordinance last April.

Apr 15, 2011 Press Release

Hearing: Recent EPA Rulemakings Relating to Boilers, Cement Manufacturing Plants and Utilities

WASHINGTON –– "Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you to all of the guests attending today's hearing.

"Today we will hear testimony from a variety of stakeholders on proposed or finalized EPA rules regarding new, maximum achievable control technology (MACT) and other standards for power plants, cement facilities, boilers and incinerators.

Apr 13, 2011 Press Release

WASHINGTON –– Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you to all of our guests for being here today.

Mr. Chairman, today we will hear testimony regarding the discussion draft of the so-called “Jobs and Energy Permitting Act of 2011,” which would amend Section 328 of the Clean Air Act that addresses air pollution from Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) drilling activities.

Apr 4, 2011 Press Release

WASHINGTON –– "Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, Chairman Jaczko, and all of the NRC commissioners for being here today.

"Although the devastating events that happened in Japan have been swept from the front pages in recent weeks, I can assure you that my constituents still have very real concerns regarding nuclear safety.

Mar 17, 2011 Press Release

WASHINGTON –– “Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I would also like to thank all of the panelists for being here today.

“Mr. Chairman, today’s hearing is entitled “The American Energy Initiative” but, ironically, earlier this week my colleagues on the other side of the aisle voted to
handcuff one of the agencies that has helped move America forward by promoting energy conservation and making our vehicles, appliances, buildings, and power plants more energy efficient.