2004 Scorecard Vote
More than half of all Americans live in counties with unhealthy levels of ozone, smog or fine-particle soot. The Clean Air Act requires states to achieve national air-quality standards for smog, soot and other air pollution. An important tool to help most states attain these standards is to use cleaner-burning fuels that significantly reduce air pollution.
In 2004, Representative Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced H.R. 4545, the Gasoline Reduction Act, which gives the EPA the authority to let states suspend the use of these cleaner-burning fuels without stemming the resulting increases in air pollution. Supporters of the bill claimed that eliminating the use of cleaner-burning fuel blends would lower gasoline prices. However, while gasoline prices have increased on average 54.4 cents per gallon over the past year, the EPA has reported that clean air protections at most add a nickel to the total gallon price. There is no evidence that even this minimal cost has been a factor in the recent price increase.
On June 16, 2004, Representative Joe Barton (D-TX) moved to suspend the rules and pass H.R. 4545. The House voted 236-194 in favor of the motion--well short of the two-thirds majority (287 votes) required for passage under suspension of the rules (House roll call vote 247). NO is the pro-environment vote. The bill was consequently shelved.