Lung Association Applauds Clean Power Plan for Its Health Benefits
Robust plan to limit carbon pollution will save lives, protect public health
(August 3, 2015) - WASHINGTON, D.C.
Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association, issued the following statement in response to the Clean Power Plan, announced today by the Obama Administration:
“Today, President Obama honored his commitment to act on climate change, a public health emergency. The Clean Power Plan is a tremendous step forward in the United States’ fight against carbon pollution and climate change that will also bring immediate health benefits to the American people. EPA estimates that the Clean Power Plan will prevent up to 3,600 premature deaths and 90,000 asthma attacks in 2030, as well as prevent 300,000 missed days of work and school.
“Breathing healthy air is essential to life. The evidence is clear that climate change now harms lung health and public safety. Warmer temperatures degrade air quality by making ozone pollution worse than it should be, and create more particle pollution from increased wildfires and drought. Add to that more frequent and intense extreme weather events, such as heat waves and floods, and the spread of some dangerous diseases, and you see why we need the Clean Power Plan.
“Consider those most at risk: infants, children, older adults, people with lung disease, people with cardiovascular disease or diabetes, people with low incomes and anyone who works outdoors. They are the ones who must rush to the emergency room when they cannot breathe because of worsened ozone pollution during a heat wave, or when smoke blows into their yard from wildfires across state lines.
“The Clean Power Plan is the first national program to clean up carbon pollution from power plants. Not only will it reduce the carbon pollution that causes climate change, but it will also lead to less soot- and smog-forming pollution, resulting in significant health benefits.
“Today’s announcement marks a tremendous step forward, but the fight against climate change is far from over. Now, governors and other state leaders must write their compliance plans. The Lung Association urges them to develop plans quickly that protect children and others most at risk in their states.”