Statement by Olivia J. (Gertz) Diaz-Lapham, President & CEO of the American Lung Association in California, on the Clean Power Plan Announced by White House
(August 3, 2015)
The American Lung Association in California applauds President Obama and Administrator McCarthy for the strongest action ever taken in the United States to combat climate change and renewing the commitment to a healthier future through cleaner energy sources. The Clean Power Plan marks a critical step forward in protecting Americans’ health from the burden of power plant pollution that will result in immediate reductions in life-threatening pollutants linked to asthma attacks, heart attacks, missed days of work and school, and even premature death.
We are proud that California already generates 25% of power from clean, renewable energy sources and has set a goal to achieve 50% renewable energy by 2030 through Governor Brown’s executive order. The Clean Power Plan supports California’s leadership and helps promote more collaboration among states in pursuing cleaner energy sources. It ensures the U.S. will stay on a path of long-term clean energy investments that will benefit the health of all Americans, but especially children, the elderly and people with lung diseases including asthma who face some of the greatest risks, including from ozone and soot that climate change makes worse.
In California, where nearly 30 million residents are already at risk due to unhealthy air, the Lung Association has made reducing climate pollution among our top priorities. Together with our , we call on the California legislature to move quickly to pass strong climate protection measures including Senate Bill 32 (Pavley) and Senate Bill 350 (de León and Leno) that would extend state climate targets. Setting strong carbon reduction targets and strategies to cut fossil fuel dependency are critical steps in delivering cleaner air and a healthy environment for all of California’s residents, and will help model the way for other states and the nation to follow.