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Killing Clean Power Plan moves US backward on air pollution

EPA, Clean Power Plan, Pollution, Climate Change, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Scott Pruitt
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Last week, President Trump made official his administration’s plan to begin the process of dismantling America’s Clean Power Plan, a plan that protects American families by curbing dangerous carbon pollution and reducing other toxic pollutants from power plants. The executive order invalidates the public health protections that would be achieved under the Clean Power Plan — the most significant step that our country has ever taken to address the urgent crisis of climate change. 

Air pollution has real-life impacts, and dismantling the Clean Power Plan could allow up to 3,600 premature deaths, 90,000 asthma attacks in children, and 300,000 missed work and school days annually by 2030, according to the EPA.

{mosads}As a mother and a social worker, I say not on my watch. We have an obligation to systematically reduce the air pollution that exacerbates asthma in our precious children and makes climate change worse. 

In December, a group of concerned parents went to the EPA to back up the state of Maryland’s request that the agency ensure that coal fired power plants in other states use their quality controls on more summer days. In the summertime, downwind areas like Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia have high-ozone days where the air pollution has primarily blown in from other states. We need a strong EPA to make sure that we aren’t suffering from increased respiratory illnesses because another state doesn’t think environmental protection is a priority.

Kids suffering from asthma already miss a combined 14 million days of school each year because of scary episodes of labored breathing. We cannot afford to go backward on this issue. 

We’ve made progress: Between 1970 and 2015, according to the EPA, aggregate emissions of common air pollutants dropped nearly 70 percent while the U.S. gross domestic product more than doubled.

From Elizabeth Brandt, Moms Clean Air Force, Field Consultant, Washington, D.C., Chevy Chase, Md. 

President Trump must work with Democrats to avert a shutdown

Former presidential adviser David Gergen is on record as saying President Trump’s first few months in office might be the worst in history. Worse than Abraham Lincoln’s first 100 days or William Henry Harrison, who died a month into his term, some historians ask? 

I’ll stick with Gergen’s assessment, because he served in four White House administrations.

I can only imagine what he would say if the government shuts down after April 28, the day the current continuing resolution to fund federal agencies expires. 

That is a real possibility, according to several powerful lawmakers including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). McCain, a former presidential candidate, chairs the Senate’s all-important Armed Services Committee.

According to Gallup, Trump’s approval rating is at 35 percent now. If the government shuts down later this month, I’m guessing he could find himself in the 20s. That not only would be tragic, it would be unmanageable. If the president hopes to accomplish any of his first-year goals, he better do everything in his power to make sure a shutdown does not occur.

This means working across the political aisle for the good of the country. Surely, Trump knows how important this will be. I hope to see many Democratic lawmakers visiting the White House soon. 

From Denny Freidenrich, Laguna Beach, Calif.

Tags John McCain

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