More than 4,500 parents and grandparents across 50 states signed a letter sent to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today urging EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt not to repeal the Clean Power Plan for the sake of children's health. The Trump Administration's most recent analysis estimates that the Clean Power Plan—the first federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants—will prevent up to 4,500 premature deaths and 90,000 asthma attacks in children every year by 2030. Today's action by parents and grandparents comes just ahead of the close of EPA's public comment period around the repeal of the Clean Power Plan tomorrow, April 26.
"It's powerful to see parents and grandparents unite around the urgent need to reduce pollution from power plants. Our nation must continue forward in the fight for healthy air, not backtrack," said American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer. "Breathing healthy air is necessary for life; all of our nation's children and grandchildren deserve to breathe air that won't make them sick. Repealing the Clean Power Plan threatens children's health now and in the future."
Dangerous air pollution from power plants impacts the health of all Americans today, but children are especially at risk. Children's lungs aren't fully developed until they become adults. Growing up breathing harmful levels of air pollution may cause developmental harm and put children at greater risk of developing lung disease as they age.
The Clean Power Plan places the first national limits on power plant carbon pollution, one of the largest contributors to climate change. Climate change leads to warmer temperatures and wildfires, exacerbating the formation of smog and particle pollution, which cause asthma attacks, respiratory and cardiovascular damage and early deaths. Cleaning up power plant carbon pollution also limits other deadly air pollutants from power plants.
"As a parent and a medical professional, I see how dangerous air pollution impacts the day-to-day lives of my children and the patients I care for," said Peggy Pennoyer, M.D., an internal medicine specialist sub-specializing in asthma and allergies from Scarborough, Maine. "With summer quickly approaching and temperatures warming, these impacts will only worsen. Solutions like the Clean Power Plan will help us achieve healthier air for all to breathe, which is why I'm standing alongside parents and grandparents from across the nation in calling for the full implementation of this critical clean air protection."
Wimmer added: "Repealing the Clean Power Plan contradicts EPA's core mission of protecting public health and the environment by giving dirty power plants a license to pollute—at the expense of our children's health. As the more than 4,500 parents and grandparents stated in their plea to Administrator Pruitt, failing to address this public health crisis now will have lasting consequences for future generations."
In addition to today's letter from thousands of parents and grandparents to EPA, more than 1,600 health and medical professionals signed a declaration on climate change and health calling for action to protect their patients and communities.
About the American Lung Association
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, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.