Statement from Dr. Linda Rudolph, Director of the Public Health Institute’s Center for Climate Change and Health

March 30, 2017

President Trump’s Executive Order on “Energy Independence” threatens the public’s health by undermining efforts to defend our communities, country, and planet from the devastating impacts of climate change—the greatest health threat of the 21st century. The Public Health Institute and its Center for Climate Change and Health stand opposed to these harmful measures.

Rolling back efforts towards clean, renewable energy puts the health and well-being of Americans last—especially our most vulnerable. At home and abroad, our children, elders, communities of color, and low-income communities will bear the worst health burdens of this short-sighted Executive Order.

President Trump’s Executive Order is a roadblock for the Clean Power Plan, and would abolish at least six other federal climate change actions. These actions will slow or reverse our national progress to grow green energy businesses, and harm our health.  The burning of fossil fuels increases particulate matter and other toxics directly associated with asthma, cardiovascular disease and premature deaths.

If existing climate change prevention efforts were allowed to continue, they could prevent thousands of premature deaths and asthma attacks, with a potential health cost savings of billions of dollars. Instead, the recent Executive Order is a step backwards—one with dire consequences for current and future generations. The White House needs to listen to the voices of health professionals, scientists, and front-line communities that already see the health impacts of climate change and dirty energy on a daily basis: We cannot wait any longer to acknowledge and address the effects of climate change on our health and planet.

The “Energy Independence” EO benefits special interest energy polluters and is detrimental to the health of our children and the future of our communities in the United States and around the world.

In the News