October 11, 2017
Eighteen national health and medical organizations including the Center for Climate Change and Health issued a statement on the Trump Administration’s proposal to revoke the Clean Power Plan.
From the statement: “Today’s proposal to revoke the Clean Power Plan is inconsistent with EPA’s core mission of protecting public health and the environment. The Clean Power Plan, adopted in 2015, would have substantially reduced carbon pollution and other emissions from power plants, and prevented an estimated 90,000 pediatric asthma attacks and 3,600 premature deaths each year once fully implemented. Revoking this lifesaving plan denies Americans these health protections and removes crucial tools to reduce pollution that causes climate change.”
The Clean Power Plan (CPP) once presented an opportunity to move towards a healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous society by encouraging the transition to clean renewable energy. However, this proposal to shut down the CPP will burden our communities with more asthma, cardiovascular disease, and premature deaths due to continued burning of dirty fossil fuels that spew particulate matter, ozone, and mercury into the atmosphere. Eliminating the CPP will have the worst impact on communities of color and low-income communities: African Americans are already hospitalized for asthma at three times the rate of whites, and 78% of African Americans live within 30 miles of the dirty coal-fired power plants. Rollbacks of carbon regulations will make our most vulnerable pay with their health as the fossil fuel industry profits.
We’ve issued this statement with other organizations who are committed to fighting for action on climate change to safeguard the health of all Americans. As put forward in the statement, we have a responsibility: “as leading public health, patient advocacy, nursing and medical organizations, we call on the EPA to heed the clear scientific evidence and protect public health by cleaning up major sources of carbon pollution from power plants and taking steps to avoid the worst health impacts of climate change.”
The health impacts of climate change require us to take actions immediately, and we are committed to continue working with our colleagues towards health and climate solutions.