Although we are in the midst of an arctic cold spell, NOAA announced a few weeks ago that 2014 is likely to have been the warmest year ever recorded.

Furthermore, the warmest 14 years ever recorded have all occurred in the past 15 years. Climate change is happening now, and we need to support climate action like the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which will set the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants.

As the largest single source of carbon dioxide in the United States, slashing emissions from our nation’s power plants will mitigate the hazardous effects of climate change on both our environment and on public health.

The Clean Power Plan will cut carbon pollution 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Not only will this reduce domestic greenhouse gas emission and fight climate change, it also will improve public health.

Projections by the American Lung Association show that in its first year alone, the Clean Power Plan likely will prevent up to 4,000 premature deaths and 100,000 asthma attacks. Further, the new standards will help avoid up to 6,600 premature deaths and 150,000 asthma attacks in 2030. Since Maine has the highest incidence of childhood asthma in the country, this is especially important for Mainers.

Big polluters and their allies in Washington are working hard to strip the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant. Thankfully, more than 3 million Americans, including nearly 40,000 Mainers, submitted comments to the EPA in support of the Clean Power Plan!

I urge Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to support the Clean Power Plan.

Chris Kenoyer

Alna

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