The drumbeat of actions organized by our Clean Air Act defense efforts across Minnesota ensured that Senator Franken and Senator Klobuchar were champions for clean air protections. Senator Klobuchar addressed clean air as one of her top priorities during a February speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
In the speech, Senator Klobuchar championed the bipartisan work that forged the Clean Air Act:
“In the past, Democrats and Republicans have managed to come together to confront tough challenges. From the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s to keeping Social Security solvent in the 1980s to welfare reform in the 1990s. But perhaps the most fitting example in the context of combating climate change is the Clean Air Act…When the bill passed in the 1990s, it had strong bipartisan support from Democrats and Republicans alike. It’s worth mentioning that all ten members of the Minnesota (Congressional delegation at the time, which included five Democrats and five Republicans, supporting the bill, including Republican Senator Dave Durenberger, who is among its chief authors and staunchest supports. Since then, the Clean Air Act has helped prevent more than 18 million child respiratory illnesses and 300,000 premature deaths.”
We applaud Senator Klobuchar’s leadership in encouraging America to be more forward-thinking and “…come together and hammer out hard-won solutions to tough challenges. Nowhere is this more important than our quest to move America forward through smarter energy and environmental policies. The finish line won’t be Neil Armstrong hoisting a flag on the moon. It will be building a next generation of energy-efficient windows and doing it in northern Minnesota instead of China, or an electric car battery factory in Memphis, Tennessee, instead of Mumbai, India, or a wind turbine manufacturer in San Jose, California, instead of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
What we need now is a comprehensive national blueprint for energy policy in this country, a solution that preserves the integrity of our air, of our water and natural resources, that gives businesses the incentives to research and develop new source of energy that invest in the next generation of American innovation. That is our challenge. It’s not going to happen overnight, but I believe that we will get it done. We have before. We will do it again.”
Clean air is a priority and we must uphold the Clean Air Act and champion legislation that curbs pollution, protects human health, and mitigates climate change.