FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kim Short, 202-777-2511
APHA applauds the Clean Power Plan for prioritizing public health
Statement from Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director of the American Public Health Association
Washington D.C., Aug. 3, 2015 – “The American Public Health Association commends the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency today for announcing the final Clean Power Plan, a bold strategy to reduce carbon pollution from power plants by 32 percent by 2030 and protect the health of our nation for generations to come.
“Science and research repeatedly prove the harmful effects of climate change on our environment and health, where power plants are the largest source of carbon emissions in the United States and greatest contributor to climate change. Air pollution and extreme weather events increase instances of asthma, injury and cardiovascular disease, where the elderly, children and vulnerable populations are most at risk. The 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change makes clear that not acting now against climate change could undermine the last 50 years in public health gains.
“We applaud the Clean Power Plan for boldly addressing this problem now. The new plan is projected to prevent 3,600 premature U.S. deaths and 90,000 asthma attacks among our nation’s children. Close to 90 percent of deaths resulting from power plant emissions will be prevented and the nation’s students and workers will see 300,000 fewer missed school and work days.
“The Clean Power Plan, which has established carbon pollution standards for existing power plants, will also afford states the flexibility of developing and tailoring their plans to reduce emissions. We support this customizable plan that leads the nation toward greater energy efficiency, rewards states that are early investors in clean energy and incentivizes states to focus on the value of clean energy in low-income communities.
“Thanks to the Clean Power Plan, communities together will boldly tackle the harmful effects of climate change and ensure cleaner air to breathe and a healthier environment for our nation’s future.”
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The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the public health profession. We speak out for public health issues and policies backed by science. We are the only organization that influences federal policy, has a 140-plus year perspective and brings together members from all fields of public health. Visit www.apha.org.