COLUMBUS – Ohioans from the medical, business and civic communities are joining forces to defend the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan in a federal lawsuit.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington will hear oral arguments in June on the standards to reduce carbon pollution from power plants.
And a slew of friend of the court briefs have been filed touting the health and economic benefits of the proposed rules.
Alan Frasz, president of Dovetail Solar and Wind in Athens, explains that many businesses, including Apple, Google and Microsoft, realize the cost of inaction and are already transitioning to a clean energy economy.
“But it’s also people like Walmart, Fed Ex, and Kohl’s, and General Motors and Ikea, and so on,” he points out. “All these major corporations are getting on board with it.
“And Proctor and Gamble, for example, is doing it, but they’re doing it outside of Ohio because Ohio is not a climate that wants to support it.”
Ohio is among more than two-dozen states challenging the Clean Power Plan, arguing it will be expensive to implement.
But supporters counter the standards encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy, which will spur economic growth and job creation.
As a pediatrician in Columbus, Dr. Benjamin Kopp says the health benefits of reducing carbon pollution that fuels climate change cannot be underestimated.
And he points out that blocking the Clean Power Plan would have implications for asthma, heart attacks and other health problems.
“It’s negligent on our part to not be doing all we can to prevent this,” he stresses. “Ohio is one of the leading states for asthma attacks and incidents of acute asthma events in the nation, so anything we can do to help lessen that impact is very important.”
Ron Busby, president and CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., says reducing carbon pollution is especially critical for communities of color that are often located near power plants. He adds that the impact of climate change in states like Ohio cannot be ignored.
“We’re in April and the temperature can go from 75 degrees to 35 degrees,” he states. “We have mosquitoes now in the winter time. We have animals and plants that are dying off each and every day. This is just unacceptable.”
Dozens of mayors, including Trevor Elkins of Newburgh Heights, and congressional leaders, including Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, are also calling on the court to uphold the standards.