Time to Decide: Protect Kids, or Polluters?

NRDC is launching ads targeting policymakers and polluters urging them to make a simple commitment: protect kids from dangerous air pollution. It’s a simple request that boils a complex issue down to its essential question when it comes to the millions of tons of dangerous toxic, smog, soot and carbon pollution, are we going to protect kids, or polluters?

For the better part of the last year, we at NRDC have been highlighting the health-destroying effects of air pollution and the need to continue the fight for clean air. The lives and futures of millions of American families are at risk, especially the 37 million kids who are the most vulnerable to air pollution and the even more so the 7 million of them that have asthma, a condition that pollution makes much more dangerous. That so many Americans and kids are vulnerable to air pollution is at the heart of the US EPA’s proposals to reduce a wide range of air pollutants from a number of sources, including power plants and other industrial facilities.

Yet the fact that tens of thousands of early deaths and hundreds of thousands of cases of asthma and other respiratory diseases could be avoided hasn’t been sufficient to persuade many members of Congress to let the US EPA do its job.

The fact that reducing pollution will pay off in terms of economic savings from avoided health-care costs, fewer lost-work days and increased worker productivity –and the existence of historical record showing such savings from previous air pollution efforts – is also ignored by too many in Congress.

Which is why NRDC is stepping up our campaign to protect kids and American families from air pollution by putting more pressure directly on the decision-makers who have the power to give Americans what they deserve: cleaner air and better health.

We are focusing on Senators Bob Casey and Scott Brown because they both represent states where industrial air pollution – the kind that EPA seeks to reduce – is a major contributor to air quality problems. Pennsylvania has had 49 days so far this year when the air was unsafe for kids to breathe, and the state ranks 2nd in the nation for toxic pollution from power plants.

Sen Bob Casey clean air billboard

Massachusetts has had 21 days so far this year with air unsafe for kids, and power plants are the state’s single leading source of industrial toxic air pollution.

Sen Scott Brown clean air billboard

Neither Senator is the “worst” on this issue – but each one has voted against EPA’s pollution reduction efforts in the last year and each one has the potential- and good reason –to be a champ on this issue. Our challenge the Senators to make a clear commitment – a promise – to protect kids.

We are also focusing on AEP because it has been leading the charge to urge members of Congress to block the EPA’s pollution reduction efforts.

AEP clean air billboard

You can help us spread the word by sharing this blog and the ads, and by asking your elected representatives directly if they’ll make this commitment, by clicking here

Learn more about our ad campaign and read the official press release right here.

About the Authors

Pete Altman

Director, Climate & Clean Air Campaign, Climate & Energy program

Join Us