Environmental Protection Agency Target of Thursday 12 Noon Demonstration from Occupy Washington, D.C. and No Fear Coalition
Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–November 8, 2011. Protestors from a wide range of organizations led by the Occupy Washington, DC. org, the No FEAR Coalition, the National Whistleblower Center, net-We.org, Federal Alliance for Workplace Accountability, and others will on Thursday, November 10 at noon demonstrate against the Environmental Protection Agency.
The demonstration will gather from 12 noon at Freedom Plaza before proceeding to the Environmental Protection Agency to lay wreaths at EPA’s door symbolizing the illness and deaths from asthma and other upper respiratory diseases that will occur as a result of the Administrations’ decision to delay smog regulations. In addition the wreaths are laid to symbolize how the Jackson Administration continues to pursue and destroy the careers of whistleblowers and victims of discrimination; and in solidarity with South African vanadium mine workers.
Led by E.P.A. whistleblower Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo the protest is directed against the Environmental Protection Agency for bowing to pressure from President Barack Obama to postpone changes to the Clean Air Act to protect Americans from smog and other dangerous pollution. Obama’s actions are designed to aid big business, acquiesce to right wing demands rather than to protect citizens. “We are also concerned by what the Centers for Disease Control calls a ‘sharp rise’ in asthma and other respiratory diseases especially in children, women and African Americans.
“Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center, issued the following statement:
“The incestuous relationship between regulators and special interest has fundamentally undermined public safety. In today’s environment fraud is profitable. This must end. We must protect the employees who have the courage to speak up.”
In May the Centers for Disease Control reported that from 2001–2009, 24.6 million additional people were reported with asthma. “A rising trend in asthma prevalence was observed for non-Hispanic black children (11.4% to 17.0%), non-Hispanic white women (8.9% to 10.1%), and non-Hispanic black men (4.7% to 6.4%).”
That higher prevalence costs around $50.1bn a year for medical expenses. according to the C.D.C. Add to that, $3.8 billion in missed school or work hours, and $2.1 billion for 12,000 premature deaths. Medical expenses associated with asthma were $3,259 per person per year during 2002—2007. And the biggest toll is among African-Americans.
“Pollution control is also a job creator,” Dr. Coleman-Adebayo pointed out, “it not only needs more inspectors, but the production of catalytic convertors for vehicles, upgrades to petrol pumps, better fuel production methods… And it leads to massive cost savings on health, renovating filthy buildings, cleaning polluted rivers and extends the life of vehicles.”
Earlier this year the EPA noted that reducing air pollution from heavy-duty trucks, the Cross-state Air Pollution Rule and national standards for mercury and other toxic pollutants, had added $40 billion annually to state coffers.
League of Conservation Voters president Gene Karpinski said in a statement: “The Obama administration is caving to big polluters at the expense of protecting the air we breathe. This is a huge win for corporate polluters and huge loss for public health.”
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson quoted industry executives in the Huffington Post on August 31st that “These [clean air] regulations will not kill coal.” She wrote about the critical need for improved smog regulations, saving lives and preventing untold injury and death. Senators Barbara Boxer and Ben Cardin say that by 2020, there would be 230,000 early deaths, 120,000 emergency room visits, 2.4 million asthma attacks and, 200,000 acute heart attacks if air was not cleaned now.
Dr. Coleman Adebayo noted: “Occupy groups around the country should demand that President Obama and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson immediately reverse their decision on clean air. We don’t have enough laws to protect the sick, but we have enough good people with conscience, spirit and bravery to do the right thing. Even when political leaders fail us.”
Dr. Margaret Flowers, an organizer from the OccupyWashingtonDC encampment agrees. “Our fundamental tenet is ‘human needs, not corporate greed.’ The weakening of the Clean Air Act by President Obama is another example of the way Big Industry controls the political process and funnels wealth to the top 1% at the expense of the health and well-being of the 99%. That is why we stand in solidarity with those who have the courage to expose these practices.”
In addition, we are calling upon EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to order her agency attorneys and managers to stop harassing EPA whistleblowers and victims of discrimination. “The Jackson administration has actively retaliated against whistleblowers and allowed her lawyers and managers to destroy their careers preventing “these citizens of conscience” from protecting the public,” said Dr. Coleman-Adebayo.
Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo is the author of “No FEAR A Whistleblower’s Triumph Over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA.” Her website: Marshacoleman-adebayo.com contains a petition demanding that the president reverse his decision.