The Trump administration continues its war on health today with an executive order that aims to claw back climate protections like the Clean Power Plan. If fully implemented, the polluter-friendly order would guarantee more deadly heat waves, more choking air pollution, and more contamination in our food and water.
The order clears the way for Scott Pruitt, the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to start dismantling limits on carbon pollution from power plants and methane pollution from oil and gas activities. These standards protect our health by cutting both the climate-changing pollution that affects us over years and decades and the local air pollution that makes it hard for the 24.6 million Americans with asthma to breathe right now.
For example, the Clean Power Plan sets first-ever limits on the dangerous carbon pollution driving climate change. It also will clean up unhealthy particle pollution and the building blocks of ozone smog, preventing up to 3,600 premature deaths and 1,700 heart attacks in 2030. The EPA methane standards will limit both methane, a powerful heat-trapping gas, and hundreds of thousands of tons of hazardous air pollution. Reducing these emissions from the oil and gas industry will help address an estimated 750,000 childhood asthma attacks in 2025.
Despite improvements in our nation’s air quality, asthma and other chronic respiratory diseases were the fifth leading cause of American deaths in 2014. The administration should be clearing the air, not giving industries a free pass to make it dirtier. But while President Trump's reckless executive order sacrifices our health for polluter profits, he can't just swat away existing protections by signing a piece of paper. NRDC stands ready to fight this assault on our climate and health every step of the way—for our families, and yours.