Call Of The Day: Oppose The Rollback Of The Clean Air Act

Please note that there is a special call to Senator Kennedy about preserving consumer banking protections below.

This week, in conjunction with our free screening of  'An Inconvenient Sequel' tomorrow night (get your tickets now – they're almost all gone!), we'll be focusing our call scripts on efforts to fight climate change and the erosion of environmental protections.

Today we turn our attention to the Clean Air Act, a landmark federal law designed to control air pollution on a national level.  It is estimated that the law, which regulates six airborne pollutants including carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and smog, saved more than 160,000 lives by 2010, while preventing 86,000 ER visits, over 3 million lost school days, and even 13 million lost work days.  (Wikipedia)

But Congress has the Clean Air Act in its sights.  On July 19th, the House passed HR 806, "The Ozone Standards Implementation Act", which defangs provisions of the Clean Air Act and restricts the EPA's ability to monitor and regulate pollutants.

This legislation, backed by oil industry trade group American Petroleum Institution, was opposed by the American Lung Association, who said that the bill would be a "direct assault" on the rights of every American to breathe clean air.

The bill is now in the Environment and Public Works Committee in the Senate.  But in case it makes it out of committee, we need to make sure our Senators will vote against it.

WHO TO CALL:

Senators Kennedy and Cassidy

Senator Bill Cassidy - DC OFFICE: (202) 224-5824 and METAIRIE OFFICE: (504) 838-0130 (NOTE: If you can't get through to Metairie, try one of the other offices, such as Monroe: (318) 324-2111, Lake Charles: (337) 493-5398, or Alexandria: Phone: (318) 448-7176)

Senator John Kennedy - DC OFFICE: (202) 224-4623 and MONROE OFFICE (318) 361-1489

Reminders: Identify where you're calling from (town and zip code is fine) so they know you're an actual constituent.  Be concise - the office will get through more calls that way.  Be polite and don't argue with the staffer - they don't set policy.  If you get a voicemail, then leave a message.  And if you get a busy signal -- call back later!

Sample Script:

Hi, my name is [Your Name] from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from].

I'm calling today to urge the Senator to oppose S.263, The Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017, which would weaken the Clean Air Act and reduce the EPA's ability to do its job in regulating pollutants.  This bill does nothing to improve our air quality or health in our communities.  Relaxing regulations will lead to higher levels of airborne pollution, contributing to more asthma attacks, respiratory illnesses and premature death.  I want the Senator to protect our clean air, not polluters; and I want him to vote no on S.263 and any other attempts to undermine the Clean Air Act.

Thank you for your time and your hard work answering the phones. Stay safe out there.

***

While you've got Senator Kennedy's office on the phone, why not...

OPPOSE REMOVAL OF CONSUMER BANKING PROTECTIONS

(adapted from 5calls.org)

In late July, the House voted to kill a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule that "prohibits financial service companies from inserting agreements in contracts that prevent customers from filing class action lawsuits." (HJ Res 111).

These agreements would require consumers to instead settle their complaints through arbitration, which is a less public process that forces consumers to instead undertake legal action individually and on their own dime.

HJ Res 111 is now in the Senate for consideration—and it appears that Senator Kennedy is undecided on how to vote.  We need to call his office and urge him to vote NO to protect us from predatory banking practices.

Sample Script: 

Hi, my name is [Your Name] from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from].

I'm calling today to urge the Senator to vote NO on HJ Res 111, the repeal of the CFPB's arbitration rule, which recently passed in the House.  These arbitration clauses block consumers from joining together in class action lawsuits against predatory practices of financial institutions.  As the former Treasurer of Louisiana, Senator Kennedy's no vote could potentially carry a lot of weight with his Senate colleagues.  So I urge him to stand up for consumers and vote no.

Thank you for your time and your hard work answering the phones. Stay safe out there.

This call is courtesy of Metairie Indivisible.