As the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit prepares to hear oral arguments today in the legal challenges to the Clean Power Plan,West Virginia v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer issued the following statement:

“With the D.C. Circuit hearing about to be underway, the spotlight will be on the solid grounding of the Clean Power Plan, and its role in safeguarding public health, under the Clean Air Act. For more than 40 years, we have seen the Clean Air Act work to cut dangerous air pollution – from sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide to mercury – to prevent health problems and save lives. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA has the authority and responsibility to regulate carbon pollution. The Clean Power Plan, which is the first-ever federal plan to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants, will continue this progress.

“Cutting carbon pollution from power plants will help limit the health impacts of climate change, including asthma attacks and premature deaths as a result of worsened ozone pollution from heat and increased particle pollution from droughts and wildfires. At the same time, the steps to clean up carbon pollution will reduce other dangerous pollutants that harm our communities—pollutants like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. In fact, the Clean Power Plan is projected to prevent up to 3,600 premature deaths, 90,000 asthma attacks and 300,000 missed work and school days per year by 2030.

“Just last week, more than 1,300 health and medical professionals from across the country declared their commitment to addressing climate change in order to protect human health. As part of the Health Professionals’ Declaration on Climate Change, the health and medical community voiced its support for taking action to cut carbon pollution that will help our country mitigate the impacts of climate change.

“We applaud the progress of states moving forward to reduce their carbon pollution under the Clean Power Plan, many of whom have also joined in the legal defense of the Plan. Their actions clearly put their residents’ health first as they continue with this important work.

“For states that have stalled their plans, we urge them to move forward and cut carbon pollution from power plants. Delaying development and implementation of this critical work delays the crucial benefits that their citizens deserve, including fewer asthma attacks, fewer hospital admissions and most importantly, fewer lives lost.

“We believe the Clean Power Plan is well within the EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act, and an essential component in our broader fight against climate change. By moving forward with the Clean Power Plan, we can make real progress in reducing carbon pollution and protecting the health of Americans for generations to come.”


For more information please contact:

Allison MacMunn
(312) 801-7628

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Michelle Blundell
(202) 478-6176