EPA Defies Republicans – Announces Better Data-Gathering on Air Pollution Harm Anyway

Even as the Republican majority in the House is shutting down the science associated with air pollution, and has passed an astounding 168 bills hampering the EPA’s ability to collect data on (or act to prevent) the harm of pollutants, the EPA is making improvements in its ability to study the interaction of weather and harmful air pollution. (What dedication!)

The EPA today announced a more up to the minute refinement of a decades-old method gathering its data: the Community Multi-scale Air Quality model (CMAQ) that the National Weather Service uses as the model to produce daily forecasts for ozone air quality and other harmful health effects of dirty energy use.

The new modeling improves forecasting ability, in predicting for example the daily danger level of smog over natural geological “basins” like Los Angeles.

But the Republican Party has other plans:

Democratic Senator Claims EPA Creates Jobs, Health, Wealth

California’s Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer (not pictured) held a press conference today in which she touted a twenty-page page foot-noted study showing that complying with the nation’s public health and environmental protection laws has bolstered a $300 billion a year clean technology sector that employs an estimated 1.7 million people.

At the hotly attended press conference, she went on: “Our environmental laws provide major health and economic benefits. For example, the Clean Air Act’s annual benefits by 2020 are expected to prevent 230,000 premature deaths, 200,000 cases of heart attacks, 2.4 million cases of asthma attacks, 120,000 emergency room visits, and 5.4 million lost school days.”

The media, as you can imagine, simply ate it up. This is quite a different story than

Obama Issues Veto Threat to Defend Clean Air Act

This week a House vote is being taken on another anti-EPA bill. The The Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act, a Republican bill that would create a multi-million dollar multi-agency committee to analyze the economic cost of 10 EPA rules on smog-causing and heat-trapping gases, fine particulates, mercury, ozone, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide will likely pass the Republican-held House.

The bill is redundant. The EPA already quantifies the estimated costs and benefits of its rulings. The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) also normally scores each bill it is asked to, before a vote, also providing estimated costs to industry and benefits to the public. But congressional Republicans have become increasingly unhappy with the results. They believe