While opponents say the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to reduce carbon emissions will cost jobs and bring higher electric bills, supporters of the proposal have a counter-argument: beneficial health effects.
The EPA is holding hearings in Atlanta and three other cities this week on its plan for reducing power plants’ carbon emissions.
Those in favor of the changes say that as coal plants shut down or are replaced with cleaner natural gas, there will be fewer conventional pollutants in the air. Specifically, that means fewer lung-damaging particulates and less ground-level ozone, or smog.
The EPA expects that the resulting cleaner air will mean fewer asthma attacks and hospitalizations, and 2,700 to 6,600 fewer premature deaths per year by 2030.
Dr. LeRoy Graham, a pediatric pulmonologist who practices in the Atlanta area, said Tuesday in a GHN interview that as the carbon “footprint” in the air increases, “people with lung problems are suffering more. The health threats are increasing.’’ full story