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Ozone Pollution

House Roll Call No. 598
108th Congress, 1st Session

Failed: 182-232 (see complete tally)
Some 175 million Americans live in areas where ground-level ozone, or “smog,” levels are high enough to cause serious health problems. Smog triggers asthma attacks and exacerbates chronic respiratory disease, sending more than 150,000 people to hospital emergency rooms each year. Even some of America’s priceless national parks, such as Great Smoky Mountains and Yosemite, suffer from dramatically unhealthy levels of ozone pollution.

Under the Clean Air Act, areas with unhealthy air are required to reduce ozone pollution by strict statutory deadlines. If these areas fail to meet their deadlines, they are given more time to meet their target, but in return, they must adopt more rigorous air pollution control measures. During the fall 2003 House-Senate conference on the energy bill, Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) succeeded in inserting language that would give polluted areas more time to clean up without having to implement stronger air pollution controls. This would delay the adoption of urgently needed anti-pollution measures in communities throughout the country and would harm areas downwind of those communities as well.

The Barton provision was included in the energy conference report even though it had not passed either the House or Senate. In response, Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) offered a motion to instruct conference committee members to drop the Barton language. On October 30, 2003, the House defeated the motion by a 182-232 vote (House roll call vote 598). YES is the pro-environment vote. The conference report, which was later passed by the House, still contains the Barton provision. The Senate has not yet passed the bill.

Vote Map: House Roll Call No. 598
Votes For : 182
Votes Against : 232
Not Voting : 20


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