Comments on the EPA Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule
Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0355
Date: November 28, 2018
We strongly support EPA in moving forward with the Clean Power Plan in the strongest form possible and are strongly against a repeal or rollback of any sort. Americans have delivered more than 8 million comments into EPA in support of standards limiting carbon pollution from new and existing power plants – the most ever received by the agency.
The Clean Power Plan is based on a strong legal foundation. It is consistent with the law, earlier court precedents, and other EPA standards that protect Americans from dangerous pollution. We also know that low-income communities and communities of color, including the Latino community, are frequently among those most negatively impacted by carbon pollution. These impacts are both direct and indirect, through exposure to the health damaging co-pollutants associated with carbon emissions, and through the present and increasingly negative effects of climate change. We urge EPA to uphold historic and urgently needed carbon pollution standards for the health and economic wellbeing of our communities and future generations.
Latino and Other Communities of Color
Nationwide, low-income and communities of color are among the most, and most negatively, impacted by the dirty emissions associated with carbon-polluting power plants. Latinos and African-Americans have some of the highest incidences of respiratory diseases worsened by this pollution. Children suffering from asthma and other illnesses, because we are disproportionately exposed to the health-harming pollutants associated with coal fired power plants. One of two Latinos in the United States lives in a county that does not meet EPA’s public health air quality standard. We also know that 40 percent of Latinos live within 30 miles of a power plant, and that Latino children are 40 percent more likely to die from asthma than non-Latino white children. We recognize that EPA’s Clean Power Plan will help to mitigate some of the burden of disease on our communities, and we support the positive changes in our communities’ health that will be realized only if the rule is upheld.
Carbon pollution also endangers Latinos nationwide by driving climate change. Already, we see Latinos on the frontlines of climate change, in the line of fire of extreme heat in the Southwest, extreme drought in California, and sea level rise in Florida. Often, Latinos also work the highest-risk jobs, in sectors including construction, agriculture, and landscaping, where they are directly confronted by the worsening impacts of climate change like heatstroke and even death. We know that the impacts of climate change can be devastating for any community, and Latinos and other communities of color are no exception. The Clean Power Plan is a critical step toward reducing the United States’ emissions reductions. We strongly support EPA protecting the Clean Power Plan to ensure that the emissions reductions targets are achieved and denounce the repeal of Clean Power Plan, for the safety and security of all American communities.
While all communities stand to gain from EPA’s Clean Power Plan, it is also clear that certain communities need to be taken into particular consideration. These are the environmental justice communities, Americans who suffer disproportionately from toxic air pollution and from climate change. The Clean Power Plan must be upheld and EPA must empower states to ensure their actions will achieve absolute emissions reductions in the American communities that are hardest hit by carbon emitting power plants.
We also believe that the concerns of low-income and communities of color must be taken into account, as mandated in Executive Order 12898 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. These mandate that federal rules, regulations, and policies protect the human rights of low income and communities of color.
We know that the impacts of climate change can be devastating for any community, and latinos and other communities of color are no exception. The clean power plan is a critical step toward reducing the united states’ emissions reductions and we must act responsibly. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on three separate occasions that the EPA has a responsibility under the Clean Air Act and other laws to protect our families and communities from harmful carbon pollution from power plants and other sources.
GreenLatinos strongly encourages EPA to protect and enforce the clean power plan, to ensure the safety, health and security of all american communities. We do not have to choose between a healthy economy and a healthy environment; we can and will have both.