It was a cold, raw morning in Washington, DC, and our umbrellas had a hard time keeping out the rain, sleet, and snow. But our hearts were warm when, earlier this week, a group of more than a dozen moms, dads, and kids delivered a Valentine’s Day message to the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Part of our Valentine’s Day message was one of thanks. We thanked EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for the work that she has done to protect our kids from climate change, through America’s Clean Power Plan, new rules on truck engines, and a plan to slash methane pollution from new sources in the natural gas industry. Weirdly, while we were meeting with the Administrator, the Supreme Court was preparing to issue a stay on America’s Clean Power Plan until after the legal merits of the plan have been determined. We were surprised and disappointed with the decision to let corporate polluters delay this critical regulation, but, as Dominique wrote:
“Climate change is not going away. Neither is action on climate change. Neither is the energy revolution underway all over the country. We are unstoppable.”
And on the subject of unstoppable: Because we don’t back down when it comes to our children’s health and safety (Tweet this), we also went to EPA and the White House to say, “Show us the love.” This Administration has done some important, groundbreaking work to protect our kids from climate pollution. But it’s not enough: We need limits on methane emissions from the natural gas wells, pipelines, and compressor stations in operation now, leaking methane and other dangerous co-pollutants into the air – not just limits on the wells, pipelines, and compressor stations that have yet to be built.
Our hearts are full of gratitude to you, our members, for all the LOVE you showed by making the cards we delivered. Administrator McCarthy happily pored over card after card, clearly cherishing our collective show of support for the work that she has done to protect the health of our children. She also listened intently to the stories of some of the amazing moms who visited her office.
- Patrice Tomcik, from Butler County, PA, shared her concerns that the well pad being drilled half a mile from her children’s school could expose them and the 3,700 other students there to carcinogenic benzene. Because one of her sons is a leukemia survivor, he is especially vulnerable to environmental carcinogens.
- Krystal Henagan and her son Tanner came from Helotes, TX, to talk about how natural gas operations in the Eagle Ford Shale have contributed to deteriorating air quality in the San Antonio region. Tanner’s severe asthma became life threatening after he moved to the area, and is exacerbated by poor air quality days.
- Laura Burns came from Mansfield, OH, to share her perspective as a conservative Republican in support of strong methane pollution standards. Although her region isn’t producing natural gas, she knows that her kids are still vulnerable to nearby pollution from Marcellus and Utica shale areas.
- Vanessa Bulkacz lives in California, eight miles from the Aliso Canyon SoCalGas storage tank. Her asthmatic four-year old son has suffered severe coughing episodes since the massive leak began.
Our hearts are full of thanks and admiration for Patrice, Krystal, Laura, and Vanessa.
Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to spread love with letters, cards, drawings, and calls. It proves that heartfelt and homemade still have meaning. At Moms Clean Air Force, we are fueled by that same driver: heartfelt, homemade LOVE. It’s what motivates our fight for clean air and a safe climate.Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours. With love. (Tweet this)