Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Thanks to Obama, Mother Earth Will Breathe Fresh Air

It’s time we stop talking about how climate change affects polar bears inMC Headshot

Antarctica, and instead focus on how this phenomenon affects us here in the United States.

This week, the EPA adopted new measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The new rules would achieve the following:

–   Reduce power plant carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent to return emissions to their 2005 levels.

–   Reduce nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide contaminants by 25 percent.

–   Prevent up to 6,500 premature deaths and 150,000 child asthma attacks per year.

–   Reduce electricity bills by approximately 8 percent, increase energy efficiency, and reduce demand for electricity.

–   Create thousands of jobs throughout the country.

The reality is that these new rules to reduce power plant emissions were created with the help of private companies and local and state governments. Additionally, states will have the flexibility of meeting these new emission requirements by using energy sources that work best for each state.

The truth is that in the United States we do not have to choose between the health of our economy and the health of our children. The previous rules could not protect Mother Earth or our children, nor did they promote economic growth.

Today, more than half of Latinos live in counties with a high concentration of power plants that destroy our atmosphere and pollute the air we breathe.

It’s time we stop talking about how climate change affects polar bears in Antarctica, and instead focus on how this phenomenon affects us here in the United States.

As Americans, we have a moral obligation to leave our children with a planet that is free from harmful contaminants that threaten our health.

The United States has already placed limits on arsenic, mercury, and lead; however, for many years power plants were allowed to emit as much carbon as they wanted.

We are already feeling the effects of climate change in our country. In the last three decades, the percentage of Americans with asthma has more than doubled. Climate change has also put Americans at a greater risk of hospitalization.

At the end of the day, the facts speak for themselves. There are too many asthma attacks in our communities, as Latinos are 30 percent more likely to visit the emergency room than non-Hispanic whites. With many Latinos living in areas that do not meet the government’s air quality standards, now more than ever we must make certain that states comply with the new EPA standards and thus ensure that our children and Mother Earth have a healthy future.

Washington Hispanic