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4,500 health professionals and scientists urge Congress to implement and enforce Clean Air Act

By Climate Guest Contributor  

"4,500 health professionals and scientists urge Congress to implement and enforce Clean Air Act"

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In the face of overwhelming public support for EPA limits on carbon dioxide pollution, opposition to weaken or delay safeguards for air pollution continues to grow.

Yesterday, nearly 2,000 health professionals and more than 2,500 scientists from all 50 states sent separate letters to Congress strongly urging full implementation and enforcement of clean air health measures.

CAP Energy Intern Matt Woelfel has the story. The health professionals asked Congress to

fulfill the promise of clean, healthy air for all Americans to breathe. Support full implementation of the Clean Air Act and resist any efforts to weaken, delay or block progress toward a healthier future for all Americans.

The scientists reiterated that climate change science is clear: global warming presents a clear danger to Americans.

The scientific evidence overwhelmingly suggests that climate change poses a clear threat to public health. Numerous scientific studies…show that if heat-trapping emissions continue unabated, global warming is likely to cause more extreme heat in our cities, severe water shortages, loss of species, hazards to coasts from sea level rise, and extreme weather. The economic and social costs of such impacts are potentially calamitous.

Stripping the EPA of its ability to limit carbon dioxide and other pollutants means more asthma attacks, more respiratory illnesses and disease, and more premature deaths.   EPA determined that over the past 40 years, this law prevented 400,000 premature deaths and hundreds of millions of cases of respiratory diseases.

In spite of these truths, yesterday’s Energy and Power Subcommittee hearing featured both Big Oil and Koch Industries representatives who continued to ignore the welfare of the American people because they seek more profits for their companies or benefactors. 

EPA estimates that by 2020, the Clean Air Act will have saved more than $2 trillion dollars in health care costs, lost productivity and other economic losses.  The benefit-cost ratio is 30 to 1. Doctors, nurses, scientists and others remind Congress that these ill-informed efforts to gut the EPA of its protective safeguards ignore the human toll that inaction will take on our most vulnerable citizens: children, seniors, and those already suffering from ailments.

These are consequences we cannot afford.

CAP Energy Intern Matt Woelfel

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4 Responses to 4,500 health professionals and scientists urge Congress to implement and enforce Clean Air Act

  1. 350 Now says:

    iMatter March – a million + kids, parents and grandparents – Mother’s Day – Sun. May 8, 2011

    We’ve done the talk. Now let’s do the walk.

    Kindly view this: Alec Loorz, age 16 at the TED event in Santa Barbara:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raW7wu_XxPs

    Lots of good ideas for organizing marches in YOUR hometown at: http://imattermarch.org/

    IMatter March and Kids-vs-Global Warming is a non-profit venture of Earth Island Institute
    http://earthisland.org/

  2. For those with respiratory illness and those at increased risk of cardiovascular disease as a result of exposure to high levels of air pollution, this support for strong air quality controls is good to see. the real question is whether the governing bodies will listen and take appropriate action. The fear would be that they will cave to powerful interest groups.

  3. Mossy says:

    This is great, but it could have been greatly expanded, had they explored all avenues. We’re still such disparate groups, fumbling in the dark, not connecting with each other!

    Regarding the health letter, I’m surprised that Dr. Paul Epstein and Dr. Jill Stein are not listed under MA, as they’re obvious and outspoken. It leads me to wonder what sources they used to obtain signatures. I receive tons of environmental emails daily, and since I’m retired, I usually glance at all. No where did I see this letter referenced before. I have been in contact with innumerable organizations over the issue of medical advocacy on the Clean Air Act, and I’m surprised that none of my networks led me to it, so that at the very least, I could sign it.

    The same could be said for the scientist’s letter, regarding my MS organic chemist husband, who has also had his name out there everywhere on this issue, so how did it miss us?

    Again, the issue is NOT that we were overlooked, but it just leads me to realize anew how disconnected we all are, in spite of our hi-tech instruments. And until we become one huge united force, I’m afraid Koch and all his friends win.

  4. Mossy says:

    I agree with 350 Now. Let’s get everyone who reads this blog out on the streets on Mother’s Day with our kids and grandkids.

    And speaking of advocacy, have all Climate Progres readers called their own Congressional Representatives to voice extreme concern over this Upton bill?