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EPA - Here Are 55 Reasons To Listen Closely


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View Sarah Saylor's blog posts
08 November 2013, 1:08 PM
Citizens give EPA an earful at carbon pollution listening sessions
Hundreds spoke during the public listening sessions on carbon pollution controls. (Photo courtesy of Moms Clean Air Force)

At the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's listening session regarding carbon pollution controls from existing power plants, I put myself in EPA’s shoes and did some real listening. It turns out the list of what may be lost and what must be protected by such a rule is not as short as we sometimes make it in the name of expediency.

Hundreds of people spoke in Washington, D.C., and thousands have spoken at the 10 other listening sessions the EPA is conducting across the country. Below are just 55 reasons*—one for every state and territory in our nation—for the EPA to take bold strides when it comes to limiting carbon pollution:

  1. Protect our children and future generations
  2. Protect the hungry and the homeless
  3. Be good global neighbors
  4. Save honeybees
  5. Protect plant and animal life
  6. Relieve those with asthma and other lung diseases
  7. Make the moral and ethical choice
  8. Pay our debt to coal miners and coal mining communities
  9. Save mountaintops
  10. Reduce coal-related illnesses
  11. Empower those who disproportionately suffer from direct impacts of pollution
  12. Provide justice for communities of color
  13. Provide justice for the economically and socially disadvantaged
  14. Help those without access to adequate healthcare
  15. Address the costs of inaction
  16. Reduce the cost of extreme weather, drought, wildfire and infestation
  17. Embolden states like California that have taken action
  18. Protect forests
  19. Help those who live wherever coal is burned
  20. Watch out for Charlie, and other brothers and sisters in the Arctic
  21. Give relief to Pittsburgh asthmatics
  22. Help rural communities
  23. Lookout for Lucy and Liddy [sic]
  24. Provide justice for Latinos and other minorities
  25. Spare those in the path of storms like el derecho
  26. Make amends with those who have little to do with creating the problem
  27. Provide for Katie and Brendan and their future children so they might enjoy hiking at Great Falls, VA, someday
  28. Relieve suffering for kids who breathe smog
  29. Spare Norfolk, VA, from flooding
  30. Spare those who cannot protect themselves from polluters/pollution
  31. Keep the Unitarian Church school from flooding
  32. Return the ice, skating and Jeep rides to the lake in Wisconsin
  33. Look out for Brooklyn, NY, and NJ
  34. Spare the 1,700 places in the U.S. at risk due to sea level rise
  35. Avoid the tragedy of the commons (the air)
  36. Learn to provide power [energy] without the human cost
  37. Eliminate the externalities from which polluters profit
  38. Empower the Environmental Protection Agency
  39. Protect those from whom we borrow the Earth
  40. Help a friend from Chesapeake with asthma
  41. Keep 7 million kids in the U.S. with asthma from getting sicker
  42. Embolden Mom’s Clean Air Force and protect the kids for whom they advocate
  43. Erase Washington, D.C.’s failing ozone score
  44. Reduce global food security threats
  45. Provide justice for those without a voice in this decision
  46. Save $1,100 per taxpayer on climate-related disasters
  47. Answer more than 3.2 million comments in favor of a carbon pollution standard
  48. Minimize the risks from severe weather events like microbursts
  49. Reduce the greatest threat ever to humanity
  50. Meet our obligation to future generations
  51. Recover lost cultures and species that may otherwise be lost
  52. Respond to the scientific imperative
  53. Employ renewable energy
  54. Provide justice for a 73-year-old woman from Virginia with asthma who has been choking on lies, greed and pollution from a power plant 2 miles from her home
  55. Prevent the early loss of loved ones

* In the order in which they were presented at the listening session held Thursday, Nov. 7 at EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The symbolism for the 50 states and 5 territories (a less well known number: Puerto Rico, Samoa...?) is a good idea. The repetition and seeming arbitrariness led me to skim only to catch one or two of the more compelling reasons that I might happen to run across.

Of course limiting carbon emissions is a very reasonable cause. I'm looking forward to more voices in support of it!

Nate

At the San Francisco hearing, one of the best reasons presented to take action against carbon pollution was that we need "To be good ancestors."

Very moving testimony.

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