Washington Environmentalists Applaud Leadership from President Obama on Climate
Seattle, WA –(ENEWSPF)–August 3, 2015. Today the EPA and the Obama Administration released the final version of the landmark Clean Power Plan. A coalition of local environmental advocates applauded this important step toward healthier air and a stable climate.
“I think I speak on behalf of all snow lovers in Washington state when I say that last winter was discouraging,” said professional skier and member of Protect Our Winters Ingrid Backstrom. “I believe strongly in the future of skiing and riding in the snowy Washington mountains, and I know there are solutions that can help save our glaciers and snowpack while also building a stronger local economy. That’s why I am a huge supporter of the Clean Power Plan. With leadership from our President and the EPA, we can look forward to a lifetime of snowy Pacific Northwest winters.”
The Clean Power Plan will not only help slow the advance of climate change, but also protect public health. Coal pollution in the United States results in more than $100 billion annually in health costs and more 12,000 emergency room visits per year.
Smog pollution from outdated coal plants contributes to 35,700 premature deaths, 23,290 visits to the emergency room, and 2.7 million days of missed work or school every year in the U.S. Not only that – the rising temperatures caused by carbon pollution actually make smog worse, trapping it at ground level and exposing more children and people with respiratory illnesses to grave danger. The Clean Power Plan will help us clean up these polluting coal plants and protect public health for everyone in our community.
In addition to the negative effects carbon pollution has on air and health, it also contributes to extreme weather patterns which have already had damaging impacts in Washington. In eastern Washington, climate disruption and carbon pollution have contributed to severe droughts, longer wildfire seasons and challenges for many family farms.
“Today President Obama has taken a huge step in making good on his climate commitment,” said Bill Arthur, Associate Regional Campaign Director for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. “By finalizing this plan to reduce dangerous carbon emissions from existing power plants for the first time ever, President Obama is making history and setting the stage to clean up dirty power plants, the number one source of life-threatening carbon pollution. Governor Inslee’s recent proposal directing his Department of Ecology to develop a cap on carbon emissions will be a strong complement to the Clean Power Plan. It can enable us to take a harder look at out-of-state coal plants that provide power to Washington while the carbon pollution they produce fuels climate change across the globe and contributes to more forest fires and impacts to our salmon and shellfish here at home. Fortunately, transitioning to clean energy provides a huge opportunity for our state to create good local, family wage jobs in the growing solar, wind and energy efficiency industries. The Clean Power Plan will help us chart a course to a strong clean energy economy, cleaner air and a more stable climate.”
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.