Organizations say Scott Brown’s Votes “Endanger Public Health”

Organizations say Scott Brown’s Votes “Endanger Public Health”

31 organizations – including environmental, health, faith, women’s and latino groups – chide Massachusetts Senator in letter

WASHINGTON (May 13, 2011) – A broad coalition of national, regional and Massachusetts advocacy groups is taking Senator Scott Brown to task for backing legislation that would “severely endanger public health.’’ On April 6th, Brown voted in support of a proposal that would have blocked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from reducing carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases.

In the letter to the senator, they expressed “grave disappointment” with Brown, saying that vote and others contradict his claim to “support a clean environment.”

The letter also expresses firm support for the League of Women Voters’ decision to portray a child with asthma in television ad the League ran in response to the Senator’s April 6th vote.

Brown has called that ad demagoguery. But the letter’s signers say the ad was “scientifically correct’’ in portraying an asthmatic child with a breathing mask. The groups note that the EPA warns that warming temperatures due to carbon and other pollution will “worsen regional ground-level ozone pollution” and that “Exposure to ground level ozone has been linked to respiratory health problems ranging from decreased lung function and aggravated asthma to increased emergency department visits, hospital admissions, and even premature death.”

“Senator Brown’s response to the ad has not addressed the core issue behind them: that by voting to undermine EPA’s ability to protect public health and the environment, he is choosing to protect out-of-state polluters, not his constituents,’’ said Seth Kaplan, VP, Policy and Climate Advocacy for Conservation Law Foundation. “We think the people of Massachusetts have a right to know where their senator stands on these key issues.”

“Senator Brown calls the ad ‘demagoguery.’ I call it factual,” said Peter Lehner, executive director of the NRDC Action Fund, one of the groups that signed the letter.

“The people of Massachusetts deserve an honest debate on issues that affect their health- while Senator Brown would rather attack the messenger in an attempt to change the subject,” said Ben Wright, advocate with Environment Massachusetts.

The letter was sent to Brown today. A copy is included here.