Letter: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Letter: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

A few weeks ago the House passed HR 2042, the Ratepayer Protection Act. Sounds great, right? Wrong. The Ratepayer Protection Act is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and attacks EPA’s ability to curb climate change. Specifically, the Act goes after the Clean Power Plan, set to be finalized this summer, which would require states submit carbon reduction plans to the EPA.

Carbon pollution is a serious health threat to all Americans, but especially to those with chronic lung disease like asthma. Carbon emissions fuel climate change, and as temperatures rise so does the risk of experiencing unsafe levels of ozone pollution in the air we breathe. Ozone kills and as someone who has had asthma since childhood I am concerned for the nearly 24,000 children with asthma who live in the county.

Exposure to unhealthy levels of ozone is linked to worsened asthma, increased risk of hospitalization and even premature death. Have you ever seen a child have an asthma attack? Have you ever been forced to watch as their lips tinge blue and panic sets in as they fight to get in a full breath of air but can’t? It’s something I’ve experienced firsthand; no child should have to suffer in that way.

That’s why I’m disappointed that U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock voted in support of the Ratepayer Protection Act. Fairfax County received an F for ozone pollution according to the American Lung Association’s 2015 State of the Air Report. Is the representative OK with that? Her vote sure implies as much.

Jennifer Kaufer

The American Lung Association in Virginia