RIGHT TO BREATHE: 50 STATES UNITED

Jeremy Nichols

From what I have seen and experienced, the most prosperous communities are the healthiest. Let's keep that trend alive.

Profession: Climate and Energy Program Director
Group Affiliation: WildEarth Guardians

Clean Air Ambassador:

Jeremy Nichols

Denver, Colorado

Living in the Denver metro area of Colorado, I've experienced days when the air quality has been so bad that you can't see the mountains, when the region is blanketed in a suffocating brown cloud, and when just going outside—whether to ride bikes or play on the playground with my nine-year-old son—leads you to taste and feel the pollution whenever you breathe in.

Already, our region is struggling to meet federal limits on smog pollution and as we continue to grow, we are flirting with violating other air quality standards. And while I've been fortunate as nobody in my family has yet experienced serious respiratory conditions, several of my closest friends have such conditions, which flare up whenever the air quality is poor.

Coal-fired industrial sources are of greatest concern. Whether it's the coal-fired industrial boilers at the Coors brewery less than a quarter mile away from my home, the large coal-fired power plants throughout the Denver metro area, or the dozens of other sources that burn coal—including cement kilns—throughout Colorado, I know that these facilities release more toxic air pollution than any other activity in the state. And for my friends throughout the state, I know that these facilities create enormous concern. Whether it's friends in Lyons struggling with mercury and other toxic air pollution from the CEMEX cement plant, friends in Lamar frustrated that a local coal-fired power plant continually fails to meet basic air quality standards, or friends in Pueblo, who were shocked to learn that with the construction of Xcel Energy's 750-megawatt Comanche 3 boiler, the state's largest coal-fired power plant is now right in their backyard, the sentiment seems universal.

My concern is preventing problems. I don't want to wait for my son to come down with asthma before doing something about it. And if we can keep my friends and others from having to suffer through weeks of summertime smog and other unhealthy air quality days, I say, let's make it happen.

I want officials in Washington, D.C. to know that people care. My neighbors may not be speaking out on this issue, but I can tell you that if things get better, if sources of air pollution are held to modern pollution control standards, if the air clears, if the brown cloud goes away, and if our mountains stay visible, they will notice and they will be supportive. To protect our community's right to breathe clean air, we need safeguards that ensure our industries are using the cleanest fuels, the best pollution control technologies, and most importantly, putting public health first. From what I have seen and experienced, the most prosperous communities are the healthiest. Let's keep that trend alive.
 

All Messages: Supporting Our Clean Air Ambassadors.

The last few months have seen a frightful change in pollution. What used to be bright blue skies is now covered by a thick haze of muck. This however is not coming from factories or car exhaust but jets who fly in a criss cross pattern, electing what is called Chemtrails in higher altitudes. Soon those Chemtails cover the whole sky, keeping the sun from reaching earth, changing weather patterns and drizzling down at us on a now almost constant basis!
This is the scary stuff!
If it is true that those jets spray a mix of heavy metal particles into the sky, it is the equivalent to spraying asbestos- daily now!
What does that mean for our health, our food, our breath?

In the early 1970's, the proponents of Earth Day -- and the creation of the EPA -- stood on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill. Today, fueled by political agendas, the truth (about global warming and the need to require corporations to become better public citizens environmentally) is held prisoner. And for all the wrong reasons: political power, greed, gov. contracts, cushy appointments. I left the Republican party during the Bush II years and registered Independent: there is too much partisanship and too little incentive and the willingness and/or the ability to think for oneself in Congress. To coin the greatest Republican, Lincoln: "If you want to see a person's true character, give them power." I wonder what Lincoln might think about his party's selfish ways today....

Polluted air causes permanent life long damage to young lungs. It takes just a little more time and money to build a clean burning coal powerhouse that doesn't pollute. In a free society that cares about itself, it is a no brainer, that we need clean air as well as power. It should be a requirement that all powerhouses are pollution free before they are built. Power companies should not be allowed to build power houses that pollute the air.

It's pretty much a no brainer why I want clean air....because it won't kill me, it's nice to breathe and it should be a given. Being sick from our air, food or water is just not right and we need to stop letting these corporations and people who just want to make a buck off of our health continue to do so. In this day and age, we are innovative enough to come up with solutions to the problems. Thanks Jeremy for taking up the fight for the rest of us and I wish you the best of luck and strength in fighting for us all.

Hey Jeremy,

Thanks for representing CO and for keeping up the fight for clean air. Your fellow Denverites support you! Clean air for all Americans!

Clean air is what we all want and desperately need to preserve our great country. Thanks Jeremy!

Thank you for fighting to keep Colorado's air clean! I appreciate it especially when I'm out riding bike or inline skating! I also have young children and want to be able to enjoy nice walks and hiking with them without having to worry about breathing in pollution. Keep up the good work! :)

I moved to Denver 6 years ago and my only complaint about this region (besides oil and gas) is that the air quality is horrible! I am a cyclist, I commute to work everyday, I bike to the grocery store, to the park, to restaurants, etc... This city is so accessible, I don't even own a car.

I have noticed over the years how terrible the air quality makes me feel, while I enjoy my favorite form of transportation. On behalf of all the cyclists, Thank You for standing up for us and everyone in the Denver Metro area.

Without air, we die. Without clean air, we are chronically sick. If I had to choose between keeping the lights on or staying healthy, I choose to stay healthy. Pretty simple really.

I am a Denver native, born at St. Luke's Hospital near downtown. I have watched as the Metro Area has grown, and the "brown cloud" has gotten worse right along with it. When the pollution is at it's worst, I cough and my nose runs. I am now 53 years old, and can only speculate what the long term effects of these pollutants will be.

More than my own issues, I wonder what the effects are on babies and children. Polluting interests have far too much influence over our "leaders" in Washington, and we are counting on YOU to provide a counterweight. Put on your boxing gloves and give it to them!

I've lived in the Denver metro area since 1968. In the past decade it has become increasingly more difficult to breathe the air. I have asthma and chronic sinus infections. I have had to stay inside for days at a time when fires decimate the mountains and foothills. I don't want to become oxygen tank dependent because of the pervasive pollution in our air; by the way, I have never smoked. I want my kids and grandkids to play outdoors. We all may become prisoners in our homes if the pollution continues to worsen. Please do something about it.

Thank you for protecting our precious air!

Thank you for taking the time and speaking truth to power for the rest of us.

Clean air is no laughing matter! let's just do it!

I live in Beulah CO just to the west of Pueblo. We feel very much used in Southern Colorado because we have to put up with the pollution and all, or most, of the energy produced goes to the large cities to the north.
Thanks, Jeremy, for speaking out for all of us. Please keep putting out the information.

Thank You Jeremy!! PLEASE keep up the good work, we desperately need you!
:)

Thank you!

let's act now before it is too late.

As a teacher in the Denver schools, I see more and more students with asthma and breathing difficulties. We all need clean air, but the little ones are so impacted by dirty air.

Nice work Jeremy!!

Thank you Jeremy for your efforts. I live in Denver and only occasionly amaffected by polution, but is is certainly not pleasent when it happens.

Thank you, Jeremy.

The area southeast of Denver and northwest of Colorado Springs, where my wife and I live, when the wind blows from those directions, and it often does, gets all the pollution from the metropolitan communities. Thanks, Jeremy, for your efforts supporting our life style and helping keep our air clean.

There are too many children and adults who suffer from breathing problems. I have seen the brown cloud that hovers over Denver. It frightens me and I'm sure everyone here. We need safeguards with modern pollution control for our air. The Republicans sure
could care less.

Thank you Jeremy for your efforts at making Colorado's and the nation's air safer and cleaner for all. If any nation can do this we can. All aspects of sustainability are paramount if we are to have a future worth living in let alone capable of supporting a 1st world lifestyle.

Again, thank you and best of luck in your efforts on our behalf.

Thanks for putting your efforts towards a cause that matters to us all, whether we know it or not. I am a Colorado native living in the Denver metro area, and it breaks my heart when I look to the west and can't see the mountains I love so much. The brown cloud is ugly, as well as unhealthy. I support your efforts to limit or eliminate unnecessary pollution from our air.

Clean air is essential and is always overlooked in favor of money and greed!

I feel so very fortunate to be living in an environment in northeast Longmont where I can still look out my home office window to a clear view of the beauty of the foothills, enjoy the wildlife, and drink clear, healthy water. Yet I know that just around the corner people are suffering from the ill effects of a degradation of air and water quality, and I know from experiencing this shift as I grew up in the Los Angeles area how devastating it can be. I thank you for all you are doing to help protect the quality of our environment, and hope and pray our government leaders wake up and take action to protect and restore the health of our planet.

Thank you for pursuing this very important issue.

I live in beautiful Durango where most folks spend their free time hiking, biking, skiing, kayaking, running, rock climbing, etc. -- all while breathing dirty air from coal fired power plants. These plants pollute our beautiful Mesa Verde National Park where it now ranks as one of the highest in the nation for mercury levels. Politicians seem to think that they are somehow exempt from breathing this same air, particularly the Republicans. I just don't get it. But thank you for being our ambassador to right this wrong!

While I believe we have gone beyond the tipping point, I want to support efforts to mitigate the damage done to our air and water.

Thank you for your efforts!

Here in North Boulder our air is threatened by multiple pollution sources - gas and oil wells, millions of car trips, the cement plant in Lyons, diesel construction equipment, and even our lawnmowers. Coal fired power plants contribute mercury that renders our fish inedible. And all of these sources contribute greenhouse gases that are changing our global climate. We are the most polluting country on earth, and that needs to change. Thanks to Earthjustice for carrying our messages to the "leaders" inside the Beltway

Thank you for your efforts :)

Than you for speaking on behalf of Colorado. I remember days from my youth when the far-reaching vistas from our mountain tops were clearer for more miles than we have averaged in recent years. It's a shame not to be able to see the beauty stretch for miles and miles. We all need clean air to breathe!

Thank you for working on behalf of all of us for the right to breathe clean air.

Thank you for your hard work. Let's remember that we already have to deal with Radon gas before having to worry about the pollution that we humans produce.

Thank you for representing Colorado! There are many times I keep my daughter inside because of pollution we encounter living close to several freeways and Excel's Cheyenne station coal plant. We need tougher clean air standards across the board.

Thank you, Jeremy, for stepping up to the plate and speaking for the health of our state and our precious planet. Be well!

Thanks for your efforts to keep our beautiful state healthy.

I know people who have suffered from emphesema, asthma and COPD. No one should have to suffer and fear death like that when we can prevent it. Thank you!

Thanks,
Keep up the good work!

It is a funny thing to me when people talk about when they get to heaven they can live in beauty and walk with God. Yet this is it! It is right here, heaven on earth. Lets take care of what we have, right here, right now. This is a remarkable planet we live on and thank you so much Jeremy for speaking up for all of us! Perhaps people have given up in some way and look to "heaven" to be better because they think they can not make a difference, that it is beyond their control or help. Thank you again Jeremy, for bringing the reality of heaven on earth to fruition.

Thank you for representing us. You helped us with Cemex issues and have inspired us to action. We are so grateful that you care.

It is amazing that coal fired power plants are allowed to poison our air, make us sick, and even kill us. This is legal!

Also diesel powered engines, spewing their fumes in our faces, cause terrible harm to people.

Oh, to have clean air again is a wonderful wish. I hope with all my heart it will become a reality!

We all need clean air, Thank you for your efforts!!

I remember a trip to the state capitol building when I was in elementary school in the 1950s, and being confused because we were told we could see the mountains but we couldn't because of air quality. Since then, the Clean Air Act HAS made an enormous differnce in air quality all over the country. Memories are short among the polluters and the general public, though, and the relatively clean air we've had in recent decades is taken for granted. There seems to be a general disconnect between the brown clouds you describe and the fact that they're manmade; they don't have to be there; we don't have to accept and live with them!
THANK YOU for taking a stand on our behalf and speaking out for clean air.

We need to do whatever we can to have clean air. We, and especialy our kids, depend on it.

Hi Jeremy,

I'm a monthly donater to Earthjustice, and I was wondering if you could email me, because I had a couple questions you might be able to answer.

Thanks,
Phil

Thanks for representing the needs of all Colorado, Jeremy.

Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to speak out for all of us. Clean air is of great importance to everyone, whether they acknowledge it or not. What you are doing is of great value, and I thank you for it.
All the best to you.

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