The Clean Power Plan must be allowed to move forward. As a nurse, I am concerned about the health effects of climate change that I see in my patients and in the community every day. Maine has some of the highest rates of asthma in the country, for both adults and children. The increased heat, humidity, and trapping of fine particulate matter contribute to both the prevalence and severity of asthma attacks.

When I was growing up in central Maine, I never saw a tick. Now Maine is one of the top 15 states in Lyme case numbers. The lengthening of pollen season is increasing the prevalence and severity of allergies, and the lengthening of ragweed season is adding to the misery, as ragweed pollen is particularly potent.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” we used to say, and nursing practice has always emphasized prevention.

With the Clean Power Plan we have the opportunity to prevent harm to human health and to the environment we live in and depend on. For the sake of our future, we must not let this opportunity pass us by.

Sally Melcher-McKeagney


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