According to a Georgia Department of Public Health 2010 report, children with asthma visited emergency rooms 25,930 times and were hospitalized 2,965 times. The direct cost for these emergency treatments and hospital stays totaled more than $60 million.
It is a “false choice” touted by industry opponents that we must choose between public health and a strong economy. And the public agrees. According to a 2012 American Lung Association poll, nearly three quarters of voters say that we do not have to choose between air quality and a strong economy; we can achieve both.
There are standards for toxics, acid gases, heavy metals and smog-forming and soot-forming emissions from power plants, and there should be standards for carbon pollution as well. The Clean Air Act is one of the nation’s most important public health laws, with a long history of success. With overwhelming bipartisan support, Congress granted EPA the authority to reduce air pollution to protect public health decades ago. This authority extends to carbon pollution.
The Supreme Court has affirmed this authority multiple times. In proposing strong limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants, EPA will be fulfilling the mission of the Clean Air Act: protecting the public from air pollution that endangers health.
Mothers and Others for Clean Air urges that the EPA issue strong, final standards that limit carbon pollution to protect the health and welfare of Americans, improve efficiency, create more jobs through innovation, and build a strong economy. We must protect the health of our children and others now. Join us in our fight for healthy air.