I am a student and an Intern for the climate action group Defend Our Future, but most importantly I am a sister and an aunt. I have two of the most adorable nephews, with a third one on the way. This should be a time of celebration for my family, however I can only think about the future that those young boys have ahead of them. We are already seeing how poor air quality is raising asthma attack rates and contributing to premature deaths all across the country.
EPA head Andrew Wheeler and the Trump Administration are proposing rollbacks to the Mercury Air and Toxic Standards (MATS). The rollback will result in even more dangerous mercury, soot, and other toxic air pollutants released from coal and oil-burning power plants. Rolling back these lifesaving protections would be particularly detrimental to the health of pregnant women, infants, and children, as mercury pollution has been linked with damage to the brain, to the nervous system, and to fetal development.
This isn’t an issue that will only impact Colorado: this is a nationwide crisis. Not only is it extremely unnecessary and selfish to rollback these standards, those in the power industry oppose this reckless plan as well.