On March 6, the U.S. House of Representatives passed yet another bill that would block critical climate action. By a vote of 229 to 183, the House approved H.R. 3826, sponsored by Representative Ed Whitfield (R-Kentucky), which would block important new clean air protections limiting carbon pollution from power plants.
Fresh Energy strongly urges the U.S. Senate to reject this bill and its companion S. 1905, sponsored by Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia). H.R. 3826 would indefinitely delay limits on power plant carbon pollution and put industry, not health scientists, in charge of clean air protections. At a time when we are already experiencing costly impacts from climate change, Congress should push the Environmental Protection Agency to fully implement the Clean Air Act, not thwart their efforts to do so.
Air pollution from coal-burning power plants is linked to serious illnesses, including asthma attacks, lung cancer, heart attacks, strokes and even death. Children are particularly susceptible to the health effects of air pollution because their lungs are still developing. Carbon pollution that fuels climate change will make it harder to achieve healthy air for all.
Researchers have estimated that safeguards enacted now to reduce greenhouse gases—including carbon pollution from all sources in the United States—would prevent more than 16,000 premature deaths by 2030. The lives would be saved as a result of reductions in ozone and particulate-forming pollution that is also reduced as carbon is reduced. Cleaning up carbon pollution from power plants is essential to saving those lives and responsibly addressing global warming.
Please thank the Minnesota members of the House of Representatives who voted to reject this effort to block responsible carbon limits for power plants.
And please contact those Minnesota members of the House who voted to block critical clean air action, and let them know you disapprove of this irresponsible vote.
Photo: Nathan Put-Fernandez under the following Creative Commons license: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)