Welcome to Year 2 of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s war on our health! Less than two weeks from today, the public comment period closes on his effort to repeal the Clean Power Plan, first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants.
Pruitt has bowed to the pressure of big polluters and proposed this repeal of the Clean Power Plan despite numerous studies—including one from Trump’s EPA—outlining the health benefits of this landmark policy. The Obama Administration’s EPA laid out the advantages of implementing the Clean Power Plan, including avoiding up to 3,600 deaths, 90,000 asthma attacks in children, and 300,000 missed school and work days in 2030. The economic benefits are just as compelling, showing $34 billion to $54 billion in savings per year in 2030. The Clean Power Plan seems like a no-brainer.
The Clean Power Plan also helps protect our most vulnerable populations from the heaviest burden of pollution. Children, the elderly, people of color, and those living in poverty are disproportionately affected by air pollution, and also suffer the most from health effects worsened by climate change.
Late last year, NRDC worked with Voces Verdes to host a Twitter chat about the health effects of repealing the Clean Power Plan as part of the American Public Health Association's “Year of Climate and Health.” Health organizations, doctors, and others responded with statistics, figures, and personal anecdotes using the hashtag #ClimateHealthChat. Check out some of their responses.
A2: Climate change impacts the public’s health in many ways- from increased heart and lung problems due to poor air quality, to increased stress due to extreme weather events. All health impacts are cause for concern. #ClimateChangesHealth #ClimateHealthChat https://t.co/omPzg67IDm
— Natasha DeJarnett (@DrDeJarnett) December 11, 2017
A5: The #CleanPowerPlan protects our health from harmful air pollution. The health risks of the vulnerable are many, but there are even equity concerns in the transition away from fossil fuel reliance. There must be a just transition. #ClimateHealthChat #ClimateChangesHealth https://t.co/J64BvrnhgF
— APHA Environmental Health (@EH_4_ALL) December 11, 2017
A4: The #CleanPowerPlan not only would reduce carbon pollution that worsens climate change, but would also reduce other dangerous air pollutants, avoiding 3,600 premature deaths and 90,000 asthma attacks each year. #ClimateHealthChat
— ANHE (@enviRN) December 11, 2017
A3: Children should be able to play outside without worrying about air pollution. #ClimateHealthChat
— EEN Moms (@EEN_Moms) December 11, 2017
A3: Children of color are disproportionately impacted by dirty air. Nationally, about 17% of black children & 20% of Puerto Rican children have #asthma, compared with 10% of white children. #ClimateHealthChat #ClimateChangesHealth
— PSR Environment #ClimateStrike (@PSRenvironment) December 11, 2017
The majority of Americans in all 50 states and 435 Congressional districts support setting strict carbon dioxide pollution limits on coal-fired power plants because they’re concerned about the health of their loved ones and of future generations. Trump’s EPA, on the other hand, is favoring profits for big coal companies over its mission to protect the health of all Americans.
There’s still time to make your voice heard. Tell the EPA that you support the Clean Power Plan and want your health protected. You can also sign up for NRDC’s All In and stay up-to-date on all the Clean Power Plan happenings in your area, including People’s Hearings that are being organized next week in Wilmington, Delaware (January 8), New York City (January 9), and in Annapolis, Maryland (January 11). Our well-being is at risk if the Clean Power Plan is repealed, but we can take action now to ensure the EPA honors its mission of protecting the American people.