“Our attitude is if you take something out of the Earth, you have a responsibility to give a little bit back to the Earth. So these are the right steps to take for our environment. But they’re also the right steps to take for our country” ~ President Barack Obama
Since taking office, President Obama has taken steps towards improving the quality of the air that we breathe. For instance, under his administration he’s worked towards cleaner air by passing national limits on mercury and other toxic pollutants from power plants. The Mercury and Air Toxic Standards will save over 17,000 lives each year. And even with that significant accomplishment, President Obama still has much to do towards ensuring our air is safe to breathe.
Towards the end of last year, the American Lung Association released their Healthy Air Agenda. This report called upon Obama to continue his fight. Janice Nolen, Assistant Vice President of National Policy, and one the authors of the the report states:
“Still, too many people suffer and die early because the air is not clean enough. The Obama Administration must continue to defend the Clean Air Act and the EPA’s ability to implement the law.”
The Healthy Air Agenda recommends critical next steps that Obama needs to take to continue to improve the air that we breathe. These next steps are broken into 4 key areas:
- Clean-up Emissions – This suggest steps towards cleaning up air pollution from power plants, cleaning air pollution that blows across state lines, and cleaning up air pollution from vehicles.
- Strengthen the Law – The Healthy Air Agenda encourages the administration to strengthen the soot standards to “levels that law requires which will help prevent thousands of premature deaths in the United States each year.”
- Improve Healthy Air Infrastructure – With funding and budgets being cut all over the place, the Healthy Air Agenda urges Obama to continue to fund work that state and local level air pollution agencies are doing to clean our air and protect the health of our communities.
- Protect the Clean Air Act – The Clean Air Act undergoes constant attacks from members of Congress. They want rollbacks the laws and to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency. The Healthy Air Agenda urges Obama to protect the Clean Air Act, and to strengthen enforcement programs that hold polluters accountable.
Yes, President Obama….you still have a lot of work to do. As long as there are legislators and businesses out there that are fighting for the right to pollute our air, then you have to keep fighting too.
But President Obama is not the only one that has work to do. So do we! Here are steps you can do to ensure our kids have quality air to breathe:
- Clean up Emissions - Hey, you can commute, drive less…and you can make sure your own cars pass your local emissions standards.
- Strengthen the Law – Find out what you can do personally to support clean air initiatives. Become an example for your children so they will be grow up to be good environmental stewards. Check out the MCAF field team efforts.
- Improve Healthy Air Infrastructure – At your home, use less energy in order to reduce your dependency on polluting power plants. Identify areas where you can use more energy-efficient products around your house.
- Protect the Clean Air Act - Use your voice to tell your local officials, Congress, and the President that they need to implement plans to protect the air that we breathe and continue to fight climate change.
What are your next steps towards healthy air?