Climate change is no longer some far-off problem. It is here now, and it affects us all. We have an obligation to protect our children and future generations from climate change by addressing its causes — including carbon pollution from power plants.

I strongly support the Clean Power Plan proposed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which is using its authority under the Clean Air Act to protect our health and safety from the dangerous carbon pollution from our nation’s power plants.

In the United States, power plants are responsible for nearly 40 percent of the carbon pollution that endangers our health and fuels climate change. We already have limits on mercury, arsenic, soot and other dangerous pollutants, but every day, power plants are allowed to dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the air, with complete disregard to the impacts on our health and the health of our children. It’s time to close this dangerous loophole.

Nearly half of Americans live in counties that have unhealthy levels of dirty air, according to the recent American Lung Association state of the air report. Here in Maine, York and Hancock counties received a D in that report, while Cumberland County received a C. Most of Maine’s air pollution is not generated in Maine; it is generated by power plants and automobiles in other states. It is time to clean up dirty power plants that pollute Maine’s air.

Under the Clean Power Plan, by 2030, we can cut power plant carbon pollution by 30 percent from 2005 levels, resulting in huge benefits for our health and economy. I urge Maine senators Susan Collins and Angus King to do everything they can to ensure the Clean Power Plan is implemented as soon as possible.

Rebecca Stanley


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