Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Polluter Profits vs. Public Health

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Polluter Profits vs. Public Health

I’m deeply concerned that President Trump is preparing to revoke the Clean Power Plan without replacing it with any meaningful protections from carbon pollution. Why does the administration keep going after our health protections?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Clean Power Plan set America’s first and only federal limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants. It’s also our best tool available to combat the climate change that’s making extreme weather like Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria more severe and destructive. Additionally, the Clean Power Plan is projected to prevent 3,600 premature deaths a year when it’s fully in place by reducing soot, smog, and other pollution.

However, President Trump wants it gone. Repealing the Clean Power Plan will be good for special interests, but bad for the public interest. President Trump is putting the health of American families — like mine — at serious risk. Are our lives really less important than polluter profits?

Virginia’s leadership, in contrast is moving forward with a carbon trading program and setting goals to reduce our emissions and move towards clean energy production. Virginia is heading towards a 30 percent reduction by 2030 — similar to the amount required in Virginia by the U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan, and which Governor McAuliffe already supports.

We need all states to move forward solutions to climate change, not more giveaways to industry. Sadly, President Trump’s latest rollback of public health protections will mean more sick kids, more expensive hospital visits, and more intense and destructive severe weather events.

No thanks. The states will do it on their own.

Kelsey Crane