With only days remaining in the public comment period for the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to eliminate the Clean Power Plan, Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) is calling on Latinos across the nation to give input on this proposed rollback. Maite Arce, president and CEO of HAF, released the following statement:
“The decision to rollback the Clean Power Plan — a key strategy to protect public health and reduce carbon emissions contributing to climate change — will have a disproportionate impact on Latino and low-income communities that traditionally live closer to power plants and lack access to adequate healthcare to address chronic illnesses from air pollution. For example, carbon pollution leads to Latino children being twice as likely than white children to visit the emergency room for an asthma attack and 40 percent more likely to die from an asthma attack.
“Climate change is also contributing to extreme weather such as drought and severe heat, which can be deadly and threaten the livelihoods of communities across the country. This is particularly dangerous for agricultural workers, 76 percent of whom identify themselves as Latino or Hispanic. The elimination of such an important program to reduce carbon pollution will negatively impact the health and job security for many Latino communities in the US.
“It is time we take the future health of our children, communities, and economy seriously. Latinos understand this urgency and overwhelmingly want climate action. According to a 2016 survey from the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economic Polling Initiative, almost 80 percent of Latinos consider climate change a serious or very serious problem. In addition, 9 out of 10 Latinos want climate action nationwide and 86 percent support the establishment of limits on the amount of carbon pollution emitted by power plants.
“This is why it is so important for Latinos to make their voices heard in these last few days of the public comment period to repeal the Clean Power Plan.”
The Clean Power Plan set the first federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants – a major source of the pollution that drives climate change. If Americans have learned anything from last year’s hurricane season, the wildfires currently scorching the west, extreme flooding events and record heat this summer, it’s that we need common sense climate action and public health protections like the Clean Power Plan. The Trump administration’s own analysis found that the Clean Power Plan could prevent as many as 4,500 premature deaths each year by 2030 — more than even Obama’s EPA estimated — and previous estimates found it could provide up to $54 billion in health and climate benefits. The Clean Power Plan also encouraged investment in cleaner, safer energy sources like wind and solar. Clean energy creates jobs and drives economic growth, and is supported by a majority of Americans.
Hispanic Access Foundation encourages Latinos across the country to submit their comments on the proposed elimination of the Clean Power Plan before October 31st, 2018.