In light of President Obama’s recent announcement that the administration has withdrawn support for tighter regulations on smog and air pollution at the risk of harming economic growth, here are today’s Five Friday Facts courtesy of Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Jackson’s Labor Day message can be seen below.
- Since the enactment of the Clean Air Act 40 years ago, air pollution has dropped significantly, while GDP has grown more than 200%.
- America is home to a $300 billion environmental protection industry.
- The environmental protection industry has supported 1.7 million jobs as of 2008.
- The global market for environmental goods and services is estimated at $700 billion.
- EPA’s regulations have helped spark innovation, including the catalytic converter and advanced battery technology.
On a related note, according to the White House blog,
A recent report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows that the direct benefits of the Clean Air Act– in the form of cleaner air and healthier, more productive Americans – are estimated to reach nearly $2 trillion in the year 2020, exceeding the costs by a factor of more than 30 to one. According to the report, in 2010 alone, the reductions in fine particle and ozone pollution from the Clean Air Act prevented:
- 160,000 premature deaths;
- More than 80,000 emergency room visits;
- 130,000 heart attacks
- 13 million lost work days
- 1.7 million asthma attacks
Image source: Metropolitan Museum of Art