The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

June 10, 2010
US Senate blocks a crazy resolution on air quality

Sanity actually ruled today in the halls of Congress, for a pleasant change.

As The Bee's editorial board pointed out Sunday, some in Congress are attempting to block measures that would improve vehicle fuel economy and thus reduce pressure to expand offshore oil drilling -- even as oil gushes into the Gulf of Mexico day after day.

Thankfully, today the U.S. Senate, by a vote of 53-47, rejected a motion to consider a resolution by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, that would roll back the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gases and implement a version of California's "clean cars" law.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, applauded the vote, saying it would be "malfeasance" to stop the EPA from protecting the public from air pollution.

"California has two of the worst non-attainment regions in the country: the South Coast basin, including Los Angeles, and the San Joaquin Valley," she said on the Senate floor.

"Experts tell us, combined, ozone and particulate matter contribute to up to 14,000 deaths and $71 billion in health care costs every year. Roughly 2.5 million Californians suffer from asthma - and it's increasing - and other air pollution related illnesses. So this is a matter of saving lives. It is a matter of major health concern and welfare, and it should be looked at that way.

"If temperatures rise as projected, these two regions of our country could see 75 percent to 85 percent more days with warming-related smog and ozone pollution. This means more asthma, more lung-related disease, more premature death from air pollution," Feinstein said.

"These scientific observations are not political statements, they are facts established by scientific study after study. Yet the resolution offered today would reject this evidence."

UPDATE: Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, also opposed the resolution on the floor.

"Today I am proud that the Senate took a stand on the side of America's families, clean energy jobs and national security," she said in a statement after the vote. "Senators held firm against Big Oil and refused to overturn the scientific and health finding that is the foundation of a brighter future for America."


About Comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Stuart Leavenworth on Twitter

Follow "SacBeeEditBoard" on Twitter