Lawmakers on the Senate's Environment and Public Works committee will meet Wednesday, June 15, to hear from experts on public health as it relates to the longstanding Clean Air Act.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air Act, passed in 1970, will have saved $2 trillion dollars by 2020 and 230,000 lives each year. But this spring, lawmakers in the House of Representatives attacked the law by passing a bill to keep the EPA from regulating green house gases. Similar legislation did not pass in the Senate.
The Sunlight Foundation will live blog during Wednesday's hearing to offer a glimpse into the financial and political factors that might influence the debate surrounding the Clean Air Act. For the past several years, the environment and energy remain in the top 10 issues discussed between lawmakers and lobbyists, according to OpenSecrets.org. When it comes to political donations, the Environment and Public Works committee chairwoman, Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, receives more donations from environmental interests than any other senator. Last year, she received $187,392 from environmental interests.
Meanwhile, the ranking member of the committee, conservative Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, has received the most donations to his campaign committee from the oil and gas industries. Last year, people and political action committees (PACs) from these particular industries gave Inhofe a total of $602,000.
Witnesses at Wednesday's hearing will include EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Sarah Bucic from the American Nurses Association, pediatrics expert Dr. Jerome Paulson, behavioral sciences expert Harvey Brenner, pulmonary expert Dr. Alfred Munzer, and Cathy Woollums, who is senior vice president of the MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company.
Tune in at 10 a.m. Wednesday on sunlightlive.com, the Sunlight Foundation's award-winning multimedia platform, to watch the hearing and read the live blog.