Thurs 10/25: All Trump’s “Affordable” power plan will cost us are the lives of 1400 of our most vulnerable. Every year.

On Tuesday, we asked people to comment on a proposed rollback of CA’s Clean Car Standards (Due 10/26), reminding us that even during the distractions of this election season, the Trump administrations’ efforts to push all of our environmental protections through a regulatory shredding machine, continues without pause. We need to gather our wits, our computers and smartphones, and keep fighting on this moving battle line.

Action – Comment on Trumps’ proposal to replace the “Clean Power Plan” (CPP) with his criminally inferior “Affordable Clean Energy” (ACE) plan. – DEADLINE OCT. 31st. 11:59 EST

skull pollution

The price we must pay to make the rich even richer has gone up. The GOP tax break for our wealthiest citizens and corporations is apparently going to be paid for with our health care system, and our social security, Medicare and Medicaid safety net. The cost to save coal-power providers money will be the air that we breathe, the water that we drink and 1400 premature deaths, 430 non-fatal heart attacks, 48,000 cases of exacerbated asthma, 500 cases of acute bronchitis, 42,000 lost work days, and 60,000 school absence days annually by 2030.

More people are starting to believe climate change is real, even some Republicans, but it arrived in some communities long ago — in Black neighborhoods surrounded by waste incinerators, in uranium mines on Native lands, and in smog fouling the air in Latino communities. This crisis is the product of an economic and political system that extracts from less-powerful communities instead of putting people and planet first.

We need to make a just transition to a new economy that benefits workers, communities of color, and low-income people. We can make sure every community enjoys clean air, safe drinking water, and good jobs in a clean-energy economy.

But we can’t do this without you. Your voice matters.

  • You can read the whole regulation here.
  • View other people’s comments here. Feel free to use something you like as a base, then alter it to sound like you. Exact duplicates will be culled out. Comment examples, facts and background material are below for your convenience.
  • WE ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES COMMENTING! “Please stop the job killing Obama Era regulations, particularly the clean power plant scam that has been foisted on the American people. I stand with President Trump in his efforts to unleash economic freedom. Thank you.”
  • Comment today here.

Comment examples

Comment: This is unacceptable. For the sake of our children and the future of this country, do not repeal the clean air law but strengthen it even more.

Comment: As a tax-paying citizen, I strongly oppose repealing the Clean Power plan. It will negatively affect our health, our communities, and ultimately the economy. This repeal is very short-sighted and wrong.

Comment: I OPPOSE YOUR CLEAN POWER PLAN REPLACEMENT THAT WEAKENS PROTECTION FOR PUBLIC HEALTH AND OUR PLANET. IT IS ESSENTIAL TO MAINTAIN THE HEALTH OF OUR ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH IN TURN TAKES CARE OUR US. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING I CAN SUPPORT, EVER.

Comment: Climate change is real, and it is serious. The ACE Rule will negatively impact the health of Americans as well as the environment as a whole. Please heed your own analysis (https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-08/documents/utilities_ria_proposed_ace_2018-08.pdf) and keep the Clean Power Plan in effect.

Comment: This repeal is sure to be found illegal and contrary to the Clean Air Act by the Supreme Court in the next year or so. In the meantime the concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will increase even further and ultimately lead to dire environmental consequences. This is made possible by the new EPA Administration, particularly the new head of the Air Group, who will do whatever necessary to please industrial and other moneyed interests because of his history of working for such interests as a lobbyist. One might think he still is a lobbyist for industry in his current job. This is just another example of the corruption brought to government by the Trump Administration. In a few years he will tire of being an underpaid government employee and go back to his cushy lobbyist job at much higher pay. The environment will be much better off at when he leaves.

Comment: Turning a blind eye to the man-made causes of climate change is reckless and stupid. Such a position chooses short term corporate profits over our children’s future. There is nothing more craven or more selfish. For this reason, I oppose EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan. The EPA has a duty to protect us from climate change, which is exacerbating extreme weather events that threaten our communities, our families, and our way of life. Repealing the Clean Power Plan moves our country in the opposite direction and puts this EPA on the wrong side of history.
I support the Clean Power Plan because it sets commonsense national limits on otherwise unlimited carbon pollution from power plants and encourages the development of clean, renewable energy. By moving to repeal the Clean Power Plan, Administrator Wheeler is undermining vital health protections that reduce air pollution and curb the effects of climate change. We need the EPA to strengthen safeguards that address climate change, not tear them down. The EPA should immediately reconsider this reckless and harmful action.

Comment: I do not support the Affordable Clean Energy proposal associated with these emission guidelines. Apparently this energy plan will cause 1,400 more premature deaths, 48,000 more asthma cases, and emit 12 times more greenhouse gas over the next decade than the Clean Power Plan, according to the EPA’s very own calculations. The exportation of natural gas should not be prioritized over renewable wind and solar energy projects. Fracking for natural gas while allowing more coal pollution in our streams and methane into the atmosphere is not ideal for the economy or the environment. It is certainly not ideal for United States citizens. It is incredible how we are the only developed country in the world planning to exit the Paris agreement. Rooftop solar could also become more affordable for low-to-moderate income families. The electricity grid also needs an infrastructure overhaul, so more funding should be allocated for long-term stability. The billions spent on ‘cleaner coal’ projects could be more wisely invested into renewable energy projects for a more hopeful and brighter American future that promotes the economy, environment, and society with more jobs and greater health for many generations. No country has ever decreased the carbon intensity of energy or the energy intensity of the economy with natural gas or coal-powered electricity generation. The answer to more affordable clean energy is through more wind farms and increased solar, not from more natural gas or coal. Thank you for reading and considering my American opinion on cleaner, more affordable energy through increased renewable wind and solar projects.

Dear Administrator Pruitt,

Comment: As a concerned citizen, husband, and father, I write to you concerning the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan. Ending the enforcement of this plan would be a net lose/lose for for our great nation. Taxpayers would see higher costs in the form of health care expenses, productivity, and a higher burden of future costs would be shifted onto our shoulders rather than the energy producers that seek to remove regulation.

Prosperity can be measured in simple economic terms. It can also be measured in the overall health and well-being of our great land. When the air, soil and water all around us is clean and free from pollutants, we cannot help but be healthier ourselves – this is prosperity; real and tangible prosperity. Making energy produced by non-renewable sources cheaper is not going to make our nation more prosperous, but will only serve to line the pockets of those that seek your favor for their own self-interest.

I seek your favor in the interest of my children and my children’s children. You might see your actions as insignificant in the grand scheme of things – I hope you do not, but realize that your role as EPA Administrator has monumental importance. I urge you to use your authority to carry on the work of keeping our land clean and healthy for future generations. We cannot go back on our commitment to them without depreciating their value and worth to us. Make a stand for our grandchildren! Do not repeal the Clean Power Plan!

Comment: I strongly oppose any repeal of the carbon pollution emissions guidelines.

As a physician, I would point out the profound public health benefits to protecting our environment. I would point to the benefits of clean air from your own website (https://www.epa.gov/clean-air-act-overview/progress-cleaning-air-and-improving-peoples-health). I would point to the scientifically accurate information that used to be on the EPA website regarding the public health implications of climate pollution (https://19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/cleanpowerplan/learn-about-carbon-pollution-power-plants_.html). And I would point to scholarly articles such as from the respected publication Nature regarding the public health co-benefits of the plan (https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2598) or the Yale Law and Policy Review concluding the same (http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/yalpr33&div=16&id=&page=).

Ultimately, we have the option of protecting the environment, boosting the economy with US-based green jobs, and saving lives. Climate change and a carbon-intensive economy considered a leading global cause of death today, responsible for 5 million deaths each year 400,000 due to hunger and communicable diseases aggravated by climate change and 4.5 million carbon economy deaths due mainly to air pollution. This is an issues globally and nationally as well.

Repeal of the carbon pollution emission guidelines has very real implications for public health and American deaths. How much do we risk losing in healthcare costs, lost productivity, and death?

 

Facts you can use in your comments:

(Thanks, Indivisible East Bay!)

  • The bottom line: oppose repealing the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and replacing it with the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, because it’s imperative to reduce fossil fuel emissions and the ACE is much weaker than the CPP.
  • EPA evidence in the record shows the CPP would prevent 3,600 premature deaths, 90,000 asthma attacks in children, and 1,700 heart attacks each year
  • The EPA’s own calculations show that the proposed ACE would result in an additional 1,400 deaths and 48,000 new asthma attacks yearly compared to the CPP.
  • Under the CPP the federal government sets emission targets for states, but the ACE allows states to set the targets themselves, which promotes a “race to the bottom”
  • The goal of the CPP (backed by evidence in EPA’s regulatory record) was to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 32% by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. The EPA’s own calculations indicate the proposed ACE would only reduce emissions by somewhere between 0.7 and 1.5%
  • EPA’s proposed ACE uses deceptive accounting gimmicks to artificially inflate the costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to minimize the health benefits of the original CPP. This means its cost-benefit analysis is flawed and unreliable
  • The Regulatory Impact Analysis shows that under every illustrative scenario EPA analyzed, the ACE would result in more CO2, SO2, and NOx than the CPP
  • The EPA’s analysis radically under-counts the deaths, illnesses, and climate damages from power plants’ soot, smog, and carbon pollution. This is contrary to sound science and economics
  • The ACE proposal drastically undercounts the real costs of climate pollution for all Americans by ignoring global impacts. Climate pollution has worldwide impacts, but the proposal counts only those impacts that are expected to occur within U.S. borders.
  • The EPA’s own estimates show that, compared to the Clean Power Plan (CPP), the ACE plan would impose up to $10.8 billion in annual net costs on Americans in 2030, when accounting for compliance costs and the loss of the CPP’s benefits for climate and public health. By contrast, the CPP was designed to save consumers hard-earned money on electric bills
  • We cannot afford further delay in confronting the threat of climate change by repealing the CPP and replacing it with the much weaker ACE. Even the current administration’s reports contain overwhelming evidence that we need to cut fossil fuel emissions, including:
    • The 11/17 Climate Science Special Report – the combined work of 13 federal agencies including the EPA – which contains overwhelming evidence that human-generated carbon emissions are the dominant cause of global warming with all of its effects on the U.S. and the world, including floods, heat waves, rising sea levels, hurricanes and storms
    • The 8/18 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about federal fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks showing that with our present rate of greenhouse gas emissions, the planet is expected to experience a disastrous warming of 7 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century

Background Information

The Clean Power Plan (CPP) was adopted by the Obama Administration in 2015.  Under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is legally obligated to regulate carbon dioxide from major sources in the United States. That’s why, in 2015, the EPA released its first standard aimed at cutting carbon emissions from power plants, known as the “Clean Power Plan.” The power sector is second only to the transportation sector as a source of emissions in the US.

The CPP aimed to cut emissions from the electricity sector by an estimated 32% below 2005 levels by 2030—a modest but important first step.  Cost-benefit analysis consistently showed a net economic gain from the CPP. It was adopted after a robust, years-long regulatory process in which the EPA held numerous hearings and received millions of comments.

The Trump Administration was hostile to the CPP from the beginning and solicitous of the coal industry and fossil fuel sectors generally.  In concert with the EPA, now run by acting administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist, Trump directed the EPA to begin the process of repealing the CPP and replacing it with what EPA dubbed the “Affordable Clean Energy” (ACE) rule.

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity applaud it as it would prevent many “premature” coal-plant retirements.

Side note: There is no such thing as clean coal. What is called “clean coal” technology is incredible expensive, and still results in air, environmental and water pollution, not to mention toxic health effects on miners. Since the goal of this shell game is to make life cheaper for coal-plant companies, they will probably just pollute and buy carbon credits under cap and trade than it is to build carbon capture coal plants.

Luckily for coal-plant owners, ACE will allow each state to decide their own standards, because, as we all know, state borders go right up into the sky, and we won’t have to breathe the results of, say, Texas’ decisions or Ohio’s, or suffer shared climate warming effects. like floods, that spread incredibly toxic coal ash, filled with heavy metals like arsenic, lead and mercury, out over widespread areas, polluting homes, and contaminating fish and drinking water.

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Side note: No matter what some corporate spokesperson say, there is no such thing as “safe” coal ash. Coal ash toxins  travel through the environment due to leaching,                    erosion and runoff, and through the air as fine particles or dust.

That regulatory process is now pending and, as required by federal law, EPA is now accepting public comments on this proposed repeal and replace. The deadline for commenting on the proposed ACE is October 31, 2018.

 

 

 

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