Don’t Let the EPA Gut the Clean Power Plan! October 10, 2018
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Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is teeing up another action to undermine the EPA’s ability to protect human health and well-being. Tell the EPA to implement and enforce the Clean Power Plan, not replace it with a dangerously ineffective alternative.
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Dear Acting Administrator Wheeler,
As a member of Physicians for Social Responsibility, I am writing to voice my strong opposition to U.S. EPA’s proposed rule to repeal the Clean Power Plan and replace it with a policy that would set no limits on power sector carbon pollution, and would undermine long-standing protections that ensure certain power plants install modern pollution controls.
[PUT IN YOUR OWN WORDS THE POINTS BELOW ON WHY THE EPA MUST IMPLEMENT AND ENFORCE THE CLEAN POWER PLAN, NOT REPLACE IT WITH THEIR COMPLETELY INADEQUATE PROPOSAL THAT DOES NOTHING TO PROTECT HUMAN HEALTH OR THE CLIMATE.]
- The EPA’s proposed replacement to the Clean Power Plan (CPP) is not just inadequate; it poses significant threats to our health and does nothing to protect us from the carbon pollution from power plants that causes climate change.
- Although you are calling it the “Affordable Clean Energy Rule,” the proposal is anything but “clean.” Nor is it more affordable than the Clean Power Plan if you correctly account for all the health benefits of the CPP. Rather, this proposal is specifically designed to allow dirty power plants to do nothing to reduce their carbon pollution, and could even result in higher emissions.
- Climate change is one of the greatest health threats of the 21st century. We are already facing increased health risks associated with climate change due to intense storms like Hurricane Michael, heat waves such as [INSERT YOUR STATE] has experienced, worsened air quality, flooding, sea surges, spread of insect-borne diseases, extended allergy seasons, and more. The Clean Power Plan is an important step in protecting us from these health-damaging events. It sets achievable, affordable targets for each state to reduce carbon emissions from its electricity sector.
- Instead, the EPA’s proposal sets no carbon pollution limits on existing coal-fired power plants, only requiring minimal efficiency “tune-ups” at those power plants. And then it allows states to further weaken the standards or even eliminate them altogether. Ultimately, the EPA will be allowing old, failing, dirty coal plants that should be shut down to continue to operate and emit dangerous pollution into our air.
- In cutting power plant carbon pollution, other dangerous conventional air pollutants are simultaneously decreased, also decreasing the costly health effects they cause. Coal combustion releases mercury, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and dozens of other substances known to be hazardous to human health. These air pollutants and toxics are associated with asthma attacks, heart attacks, stroke, cancer, and developmental and neurological problems.
- So, the EPA is sacrificing the lifesaving benefits that result under the CPP from the additional cleanup of the conventional air pollutants from coal-fired power plants. According to EPA’s own analysis, their proposal could result in up to 1,400 or more premature deaths, 120,000 more asthma attacks, and up to 64,000 missed days of school annually in 2030. All of these would be prevented by the Clean Power Plan.
- Furthermore, this proposal to replace the Clean Power Plan includes an additional rollback of longstanding requirements for power plants to install and operate modern pollution controls to keep air pollution from getting worse when plants make modifications that would increase their emissions. Allowing power plants in this way to increase their dangerous air emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and air toxics, including mercury is unconscionable.
CONCLUDE WITH YOUR PERSONAL CALL TO REJECT THIS RULE, WHICH WOULD WEAKEN THE EPA’S ABILITY TO PROTECT OUR CLIMATE & AIR, HEALTH AND WELL-BEING – THEIR VERY MISSION.
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