Clean Power Plan is vital tool

Dear Editor,

The American Lung Association in Ohio and our partners welcome last week’s release of the Clean Power Plan as a vital tool for protecting Ohio residents from the burden of air pollution, including the carbon pollution from power plants that causes climate change. Nationwide, the Clean Power Plan will prevent up to 90,000 asthma attacks and 3,600 premature deaths each year starting in 2030. That’s important for Ohio’s more than 257,000 children with asthma and 1.7 million adults over 65, who face greater health risks from air pollution and climate change.

Undeniable evidence tells us that our warming climate threatens public health and safety. Right here in Ohio we see the impacts firsthand in our air quality, where our ozone and particle pollution are worse in many counties than they should be.

The announcement marks a crucial step forward, but the fight against climate change is far from over. Under the Clean Power Plan, our state leaders are now charged with developing a plan to reduce our state’s power plant carbon pollution. Taking steps to cut carbon pollution will also reduce other dangerous pollutants linked to asthma attacks, heart attacks and premature death, making the Clean Power Plan a win-win protection for our health, as well as a powerful, flexible tool against climate change.

Should our state leaders take the necessary steps to reinstate our clean energy and energy efficiency standards, we are confident that Ohio can meet our targets more quickly than the plan requires, ensuring even greater health benefits for our residents. We look forward to working with our Ohio leadership to ensure speedy implementation and maximum health benefits. Anything less shortchanges our children and our communities.

Linda Diamond, Field Organizer

American Lung Association in Ohio

Dublin, OH