In the Toolkit --

Introduction

  • Guide to the Toolkit
  • Leagues in Action
  • I. Choosing a Role for Your League

    II. Grassroots Action Priorities

  • Climate Action
  • Price on Carbon
  • Our Children's Trust
  • Energy Efficient Buildings
  • Renewable Energy
  • Adapting to Climate Change
  • III. Basics of Climate Change

    IV. Engaging Individuals

  • Communicating About Climate Change
  • Preparing for a Meeting on Climate Change
  • Engaging Groups in Your Community
  • V. Promoting Public Policy

  • Community Action Models
  • Organizing For Community Action
  • Tips for Building Grassroots Support
  • League Action on Climate Change
  • International Action
  • VI. Resources

    Clean Air Act of 1970

    An estimated 20 million Americans -- students, union members, farmers, business leaders, housewives, liberals, and conservatives -- turned out for the first Earth Day -- April 22, 1970 -- to demonstrate their growing concern for the environment. The phenomenal success of this grassroots celebration helped put environmental protection on the national agenda, contributing later that year to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and passage of the Clean Air Act (CAA) of 1970.

    In 1990, the CAA was revised and expanded with overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress. The 1990 amendments were specifically designed to curb four major threats: acid rain, urban air pollution, toxic air emissions, and stratospheric ozone depletion. Several new approaches to meeting air quality goals were implemented, notably a cap-and-trade program that achieved major reductions in sulfur dioxide emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants.

    Over the 40 years that the CAA has been in effect, it has yielded dramatic public health and environmental benefits.

    The benefits of these advances have far exceeded the costs of compliance. An EPA analysis of the CAA's first 20 years (1970-1990) found that the dollar value of the human health and environmental benefits amounted to more than 40 times the costs of regulation. In a prospective analysis of the 1990-2010 time period, during which requirements have become more stringent, the EPA estimates a benefit-to-cost ratio of four to one.

    At the same time, CAA programs have spurred significant growth in the U.S. environmental technologies industry. By 2007, the industry was generating $282 billion in revenues, producing $40 billion in exports, and supporting 1.6 million jobs. Many of the jobs are in high-tech fields such as engineering while others involve traditional manufacturing, transport, and communication. Technological innovations include catalytic converters, scrubbers, and low-VOC paints and consumer products.

    The CAA has proven to be one of the most cost-effective and beneficial pieces of legislation in our nation's history.

    Additional Information and Resources

    From the EPA --