FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 3, 2015
DULUTH, MN – This afternoon, community leaders will gather at Ecolibrium3 for a panel to highlight the health benefits of the new Clean Power Plan (CPP) recently finalized by the Obama Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The CPP will help keep people in Duluth and other Minnesota communities healthy and safe by implementing the first-ever carbon pollution reductions for power plants. Carbon pollution is linked to life-threatening air pollution, notably smog, which can trigger asthma attacks and lead to heart attacks and even premature deaths.
Presently, these devastating effects disproportionately affect low-income communities and communities of color. The CPP will help communities, like Duluth, across the country to retire dirty coal plants, the largest contributors to dangerous carbon pollution, and transition to clean energy, thereby cutting the dangerous pollution that makes families sick.
“Children, seniors and low-income families in our Minnesota communities have been disproportionately affected over the years by carbon emissions from industry and coal-burning plants,” said Rev. Dr. David A. Bard, Pastor of Duluth’s First United Methodist Church. “We must make sure people from all walks of life are protected as Minnesotans work together to cut this harmful pollution.”
Thanks to EPA and the Obama Administration, the air in Duluth and cities and towns across the country will be cleaner and safer due to the CPP.
“Minnesota is ready for the Clean Power Plan,” said State Director of the Sierra Club North Star Chapter Margaret Levin. “The Clean Power Plan is an opportunity for workers, entrepreneurs, and businesses in Minnesota to prosper as we go above and beyond the goals set by this plan.”
Bret Pence, a program specialist at Ecolibrium3, also emphasized the economic benefits of the Clean Power Plan and investing in renewable energy.
“The life-saving measure of reducing carbon pollution by moving away from coal means more investments in renewable energy and efficiency. Clean energy works in Minnesota. The clean energy sector has already grown more than 78 percent since 2000 and created more than 15,000 jobs for hard-working Minnesotans. If we maximize our clean energy potential, Minnesota could create more than 35,000 new jobs and over $2 billion in wages over the next 15 years.”
A 2014 statewide survey found the majority of Minnesota voters (more than 70 percent) say they would rather reduce the need for fossil fuels by expanding the use of energy efficiency and renewable energy.
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.