Statement of Jeff Seyler, CEO, American Lung Association of the Northeast, Re: Announcement by RGGI, Inc to Lower the Carbon Cap

(February 7, 2013)

We applaud today’s announcement by the nine state directors of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Inc (RGGI) to lower the carbon cap.  This announcement will lead to decreased power plant emissions and healthier air for our region to breathe.  With a lower cap, RGGI will continue to play an important role in moving the electricity sector in the region towards producing power from the most modern, and least toxic, power plants leading to reductions in power plant carbon pollution and reductions in other pollutants through increased energy efficiency.

As carbon pollution builds up in the atmosphere, scientists believe that it will likely lead to increased temperatures. The increase in temperatures can increase the risk for formation of ground level ozone or smog.  Breathing ozone may lead to shortness of breath and chest pain, wheezing and coughing; increased risk of asthma attacks; increased susceptibility to respiratory infections, and need for medical treatment and for hospitalization for people with lung diseases, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and premature death.

Today’s announcement by the RGGI Participating States will ensure continued progress towards securing the long-term health of our children.