Today, the American Lung Association joined more than 100 health, medical and nursing organizations in submitting comments to urge the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to strengthen and then quickly finalize a set of proposed rules that would curb emissions of carbon pollution from new and existing coal and gas power plants. The Lung Association also delivered comments from more than 900 members of the public – including more than 250 health professionals – in support of the proposed rules.
Carbon pollution from coal and gas power plants is a major driver of climate change. To meet the goals of mitigating the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, the country needs to drastically cut its current carbon pollution levels. EPA estimates this proposal would reduce hundreds of millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide. It would also have immediate benefits to health, reducing nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions and particulate matter. It is estimated that it would avoid at least 1,300 premature deaths in the year 2030 alone.
“Dirty power plants are polluting our communities, harming our health and worsening climate change. We applaud EPA for these steps to address emissions from coal and gas-fired power plants,” said Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “We have seen this year in every corner of our country that climate change is a health emergency. Warmer temperatures worsen air quality and lead to increased droughts and wildfires, which pose immediate and growing threats to lung health and public safety. Climate change is contributing to more frequent and intense extreme weather events such as dangerous heat waves and floods, the spread of vector-borne diseases and the lengthening of allergy seasons. These rules are a crucial step towards addressing the drivers of climate change.”
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.