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Tell President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. It poses too great a threat to survival and health.
There are a variety of ways to make your voice heard concerning the dangers of Washington State's single coal plant and WPSR could use a hand. Right now we need health professionals to take a few minutes and write to your local newspaper. Here are some key points to include:
LTE talking points:
1) The continued burning of coal in Washington is unnecessarily threatening the health of our families. TransAlta’s power plant hurts our families every day it burns coal. Burning coal fouls our air, pollutes our water, sickens our children and destroys the environment. Children exposed to coal’s pollution have a higher risk of learning disabilities, asthma attacks, and coal pollution puts all of us at a higher risk for cancer, heart and lung disease. This legislation marks a major step in reducing air pollution-related diseases in our state."
2) Coal pollution is dangerous- it has been linked to four of the five leading causes of death in our nation, including cancer, stroke, heart disease, and chronic lower respiratory disease[i][i].
3) Not only does coal damage human health more than other power sources, but it is also a roadblock to building Washington’s clean energy economy. The evergreen state can help lead the nation towards an energy economy that maximizes the health benefits of energy and minimizes the costly damages. There are cleaner ways to power our state. Washington can stop burning coal in 2015.
4) “As a health professional, I do everything in my power to keep my patients healthy. Once they are discharged from the my care, they depend on the air they breathe and the water they drink to nourish them, not harm them. For the sake of our public health, we need a quick transition off of coal power. Our state leaders must consider the health impacts and costs of coal power and transition Washington off coal by 2015.
5) The TransAlta coal plant is our state’s largest source of toxic mercury pollution. Mercury is a potent neurotoxicant, with links to mental retardation, learning disabilities and kidney damage. We have an ethical responsibility to ensure that our children can reach and maintain their full potential and our continued burning of coal jeopardizes this potential. For the sake of our health, we need to phase out the use of coal in Washington as soon as possible.
6) TransAlta is the largest single source of carbon dioxide pollution, contributing to the known health impacts of climate change, such as the increased spread of infectious diseases, like west nile virus, and threats to our snow fed water supplies.
7) By releasing more than 10,000 tons of nitrogen oxide every year, TransAlta’s emissions are contributing to Washington’s increased rates of asthma sufferers, exasperating a serious problem in our state[ii][ii]. The Center for Disease Control has identified Washington's asthma prevalence as among the highest in the nation, and the proportion of the state population with asthma is steadily increasing[iii][iii]. By moving beyond coal, we will eliminate one of the root causes of asthma and prevent unnecessary suffering and health care costs in the future.
Thank you for your help with this effort!
Health professionals have a significant part to play in the effort to eliminate coal fired power plants and on December 8th we hope you will join us for an educational morning focused on educating health professionals about the dangerous effects of coal-fired plants.