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

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.

Mar 14, 2011 Press Release

WASHINGTON –– Like the rest of the world, since Friday, U. S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) has kept a close eye on the events in the nation of Japan in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck its northeastern coast on Friday.  In addition to offering his prayers and support for the victims and survivors of the epic 8.9 magnitude earthquake, Rush has also kept abreast of the U.S.-led response organized by the Obama Administration, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and international relief  organizations. 

Mar 11, 2011 Press Release

WASHINGTON –– “Thank you, Madame Administrator, for being here today. And thank you for all of your hard work and dedication on behalf of the American people to help provide us with clean air and water and to protect the public health, in spite of all the ridicule and contempt that you have encountered as you attempt to do the job President Obama appointed you to do.

Mar 11, 2011 Press Release

WASHINGTON –– "Mr. Chairman, the Upton-Inhofe bill that we are marking up today is an extreme and excessive piece of legislation.

"This bill would eliminate the EPA’s authority to require commonsense and cost-effective efficiency standards for the highest polluting facilities in the country.

"I oppose this radical bill that would gut the Clean Air Act and roll back the EPA’s authority to the protect public health and the environment from carbon pollution.