Great blog today from Sierra Club President Aaron Mair.

 It has irritated the hell out of me for decades  that the coal industry has insisted that if they are forced to clean up their emissions our lives will suffer.  They claim it will cost everyone more money and jobs will vanish.  And, of course, they deny that climate change is even happening much less that their emissions are causing it and killing people.

You and I both know this is a fallicy.  Just like it was when the car industry told you that we’d be driving econoboxes if we forced them to increase fuel economy.  Or that we couldn’t afford to install seat belts and other safety and emission controls.  

It’s really quite shameful.   


image image
Power to the Plan and the People

June 15, 2015

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the fossil fuel industry doesn’t like the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Unlike, say, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney’s Energy Policy Act of 2005, the EPA’s plan wasn’t designed primarily to boost the fortunes of coal, oil, and gas companies. And since the goal is clean power, simple logic suggests the plan will result in our getting less energy from dirty fossil fuels.
Again, true to form, the fossil fuel lobby and its pet politicians are going to extraordinary lengths to smear the EPA’s plan. They’ve even resuscitated the old myth that cleaning up the environment could hurt low-income and minority communities. It’s a clever, if cynical, tactic that plays to the stereotype of environmentalists as a bunch of privileged white liberals who care more about trees than people.
It won’t wash — and especially when it comes to the Clean Power Plan.
First of all, the people they are trying to scare have been on the receiving end of toxic fossil-fuel pollution from day one. And they know it. That’s why they are already inclined to support clean energy. Nobody’s kid ever got asthma from a solar panel or a wind turbine. As a long-time environmental justice leader, I personally know how pollution from fossil fuel industries has compromised the health and economic well-being of communities of color and low-income folks.
Second, although the Clean Power Plan will benefit all Americans, the ones who will benefit the most are the ones who currently are being hurt the most. Along with cutting hundreds of millions of tons of carbon pollution, the plan will eliminate hundreds of thousands of tons of the particle pollution, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides that make people sick. Where is that pollution concentrated? Hint: There won’t be any coal plants retiring in Beverly Hills or the Hamptons.
What’s more, electricity bills will be smaller. In 2030, when the plan is fully implemented, the EPA estimates that electricity bills will be roughly 8 percent lower than they would have been without the plan. That translates to $8 on an average monthly residential electricity bill. Those reductions will help low-income Americans more, not less. The Clean Power Plan will not only benefit our environment and public health; it also represents economic justice.
And the Clean Power Plan will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy. The Sierra Club and our partners are 100 percent committed to making sure communities of color receive their fair share of those new jobs, and that they are good jobs. We are also determined that front line communities and workers won’t bear more than their fair share of the burdens. That’s one reason we’ve joined with our partners in the BlueGreen Alliance and the AFL-CIO in supporting the president’s Power Plus plan to invest in communities and workers that have depended on coal.
In short, the Clean Power Plan means starting our clean energy future now, creating more jobs and a higher standard of living across the board. The alternative is to sit back and fiddle while China and the rest of the world move forward as we maintain a status quo of more drilling, mining, and burning. How long do we think that strategy will keep America economically sound?
But why should anyone believe the EPA about these benefits? After all, they’re the ones who have been implementing the Clean Air Act — a law that, according to a peer-reviewed study, is preventing 230,000 premature deaths among adults every single year. It’s also preventing the deaths of 280 infants each year. Oh, and thanks to healthcare savings, it’s paid for itself more than ten times over.
The best way to counter the message of fear, uncertainty, and doubt that’s coming from these fossil fools is to put the truth out there: The Clean Power Plan is our opportunity to build a cleaner, stronger, healthier, more just country for all Americans.

Leave a comment

FranklyTalking © 2024 All rights reserved.