Health Professional Organizations Call on Governors to Continue Advancing the Clean Power Plan for the Health of the Nation
February 12, 2016
Contact: Catherine Thomasson, MD 503-819-1170 email@example.com
Washington, D.C., Feb. 12, 2016 -- Today the American Lung Association, American Public Health Association, Physicians for Social Responsibility and twenty-eight other health organizations signed an open letter to the nation's governors, urging them to continue developing their implementation plans for the Clean Power Plan.
The Supreme Court's decision to stay implementation of the Clean Power Plan will harm health if the states do not move forward with the transition to clean, renewable energy, the groups assert.
Georges C. Benjamin, MD, executive director of the American Public Health Association, said, "Climate change is a leading threat to our health. By reducing carbon pollution, which is the primary driver of climate change, we also mitigate the risk of other harmful health effects, such as worsening asthma, injury and cardiovascular disease. There is no reason to slow our progress in addressing climate change; too much is at stake."
"It could not be any clearer that we must reduce the national output of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases without delay," said Mona Sarfaty, MD of the Climate and Health Program at George Mason University. "Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists are in agreement that the climate is warming due to human activities. Our research shows physicians are already seeing patients whose health has been adversely affected by climate change."
Catherine Thomasson, MD of Physicians for Social Responsibility stated, "Reducing our nation's dependence on coal means that besides reducing carbon pollution, we are also reducing other dangerous air pollutants at the same time. This directly benefits local communities." The Clean Power Plan will prevent up to 3,600 premature deaths, 90,000 asthma attacks, and 300,000 lost days of work and school in the year 2030 based only on reductions in particulates and ozone pollution.
Tonya Winders, president and CEO of the Allergy & Asthma Network, declared, "Families and communities across the United States increasingly experience the health impacts of climate change, including elevated ozone and air pollution that can worsen asthma and environmental allergies and interfere with normal lung function. With power plants the number-one source of all carbon pollution in the nation, immediate action is needed."
Richard Hamburg, interim president and CEO of Trust for America's Health, noted, "The Supreme Court has already previously ruled in favor of EPA's endangerment finding that carbon pollution poses a threat to human health and therefore is subject to the federal bipartisan Clean Air Act. TFAH believes the Clean Power Plan as proposed and finalized by the EPA, in close consultation via the rulemaking process with the general public and all affected stakeholders, is on a firm legal foundation."
In the letter the groups wrote, "The Clean Power Plan enjoys overwhelming public support. More than two-thirds of Americans support the Clean Power Plan and want action on climate to be a priority. Furthermore, the Plan is anticipated to produce $54 billion in health and climate benefits."
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