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Breathe Easy: How America’s Clean Power Plan Is Good for Your Health

America’s Clean Power Plan is good for our planet and our economy, but that’s not all.


Here’s the deal: The Trump Administration is working to repeal (and possibly replace) America’s Clean Power Plan. Backed by powerful oil, coal, and gas companies, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt claims the original Clean Power Plan design overstepped EPA authority. But the move to repeal and replace the plan is really about protecting Big Polluters’ bottom lines at our expense.

We know that the Clean Power Plan is good for our planet. The plan aims to significantly reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions from US power plants – one of the top drivers of the climate crisis.

And we know that the Clean Power Plan is good for our economy. EPA originally estimated that cutting power sector emissions in this way would lead to public health and climate benefits worth an estimated $34 billion to $54 billion annually in 2030. Then there’s the fact that the plan would also help accelerate the renewable energy revolution underway across the country and grow jobs in the green-tech sector that already employs over 3 million Americans.

But did you know that the Clean Power Plan would also have major benefits for our health?

Because they come packaged with other dangerous air pollutants, it turns out that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is just as good for our body as it is for our planet. Here’s how the plan could help you breathe a little easier.

Asthma and Respiratory Illnesses

The Clean Power Plan would reduce harmful pollutants that can irritate and even worsen asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Children are especially vulnerable to these impacts; breathing at a higher rate than adults, their lungs take in much more of the polluted air. But, if fully adopted, the original Clean Power Plan was projected to prevent an estimated 90,000 asthma attacks each year by reducing the dirty power plant emissions choking the air we breathe.

Heart Attacks and Premature Death

Coal-fired power plants also release a host of toxic substances into our air. These pollutants can lead to serious health conditions like heart attack, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and even lung cancer. The Obama Administration estimated that the plan as originally designed could greatly cut down on these dangerous substances in the air and save 1,500 to 3,600 lives every year in 2030.

Even better news: The Trump Administration’s analysis of the plan puts that number even higher, predicting that the plan could prevent up to 4,500 premature deaths per year by 2030.

Missed Days of Work or School

These health-related impacts don’t just affect our body’s ability to function properly; they also affect our ability to work or go to school. When our children are suffering from more frequent asthma attacks or our friends and coworkers are dealing with greater risks of heart attack or stroke, they’re more likely to miss a day of school or work. This can mean lost income for adults or falling behind in class for kids. By reducing the risk of these health issues, the original Clean Power Plan was projected to prevent 300,000 missed days of school or work per year.

Here’s the good news. You have the chance to stand up for the Clean Power Plan and tell EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt that you support reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions for the good of our health, our wallets, and our planet. The EPA is collecting comments on its intention to repeal the Clean Power Plan right now. 

For the past three months, Climate Reality supporters have been adding their voices to the chorus of Americans saying: We want a clean energy economy.

In fact, so many Americans are weighing in that the EPA has announced it will extend the comment period another three months to ensure all their voices are heard. Add your name now and demand that EPA protect our health and our planet, not the bottom lines of the administrator’s Big Polluter friends.