Kansas City, Mo. - Community leaders, public health experts, mothers, and clean energy and clean air advocates from Kansas City and adjacent communities spoke out today in opposition to the rollback of the Clean Power Plan by the Trump Administration. The EPA is holding a listening session on Trump and his EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s plans to repeal the Clean Power Plan tomorrow in Kansas City -- one of just three scheduled listening sessions across the country.
The Clean Power Plan was created after an unprecedented engagement process that included outreach to stakeholders across the spectrum--utilities, public health advocates, communities of color, labor unions, and the coal industry, as well as 4.3 million comments EPA received on the proposed Clean Power Plan.
“The Trump Administration is trying to throw the Clean Power Plan away with just a handful of short listening sessions across the country, hoping that we don’t sound the alarm about why we need the Clean Power Plan,” said Melanie Donnell with Mom’s Clean Air Force. “Moms are turning out tomorrow from across the region to say ‘not so fast.’”
“The Trump Administration would rather listen to coal billionaires than Missouri families,” said Gretchen Waddell Barwick, organizer with the Sierra Club’s Missouri chapter. “Replacing the Clean Power Plan with a polluter-approved alternative is not making America, or Missouri, great.”
Prior to Trump taking office, The EPA estimated that, by 2030, the Clean Power Plan would prevent 90,000 asthma attacks and up to 3,600 premature deaths annually. It will provide $20 billion of annual climate benefits and between $14 billion to $34 billion of annual health benefits by 2030.
“Missouri and Kansas families deserve clean air. We deserve clean water. We deserve healthy communities - and we deserve the Clean Power Plan, a major step forward to secure these critical needs for our families,” said Cindy Martinez with Alliance of Nurses for a Healthy Environment.
“The Clean Power Plan is an important step in protecting the health and wealth of American families. Many of the harmful emissions that torch the planet lead to asthma, cancer, and respiratory diseases that make our communities sick. Families are also paying the economic price of pollution in the form of medical expenses, depressed property values, and missed school and work days. This has to stop,” said Michelle Romero, deputy director of Green For All, a national climate justice initiative founded by Van Jones. “It’s time to invest in building an inclusive green economy that brings green jobs, good health, and opportunities to struggling communities.”
In addition to expected public health benefits, EPA also previously projected that in 2030, when the plan is fully implemented, electricity bills would be roughly 8 percent lower than they would been without the actions in state plans. That would save Americans about $8 on an average monthly residential electricity bill. However, the Trump Administration bowed to the demands of the fossil fuel industry and proposed to repeal these life-saving protections last year.
“The Clean Power Plan was designed to put states in the driver’s seat to shift to a cleaner energy economy that reduced carbon pollution, improved public health, and created demand for new clean energy jobs that align with the renewable resource potential in each state,” said Joe Spease, CEO of WindSoHy, a clean energy company based in Kansas City, Mo. “We’re here because there is a better way forward. We don’t have to choose between healthy communities and good jobs -- the Clean Power Plan creates a path for both.”
“Majorities of every state in America -- including Missouri and Kansas -- support the Clean Power Plan because it will save lives and protect wildlife habitats by keeping dangerous pollution out of our air and our water. The Clean Power Plan will help curb the climate crisis, and encourage cleaner and healthier economic options to support families affected by the transition away from coal and fossil fuels,” said Emilene Sivagnanam with the National Wildlife Federation
The EPA’s listening session on the Clean Power Plan will take place tomorrow from 10:00 AM until 8:00 PM at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Beacon Complex, 6501 Beacon Drive, Kansas City, MO, 64133.
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3 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.