The Environmental Protection Agency held a marathon week of public hearings soliciting testimony on the Clean Power Plan. Hundreds of Moms Clean Air Force members rose to the opportunity to speak up for their children. More than a dozen MCAF members delivered official testimony to the EPA, and hundreds more gathered outside the hearings in Atlanta, Denver, Washington, DC and Pittsburgh, to show support for the Clean Power Plan and demand a clean, safe, and healthy world for all children right now and in the future.
MCAF gathered parents and their kids in Atlanta’s Woodruff Park for a Play-In on Climate Action, march and press conference in Millennium Park. Joining with about 700 supporters from Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and North Carolina, MCAF rallied with our partners alongside our friend Rev. Gerald Durley and former coal-miner and dad, Nick Mullins. Inside the hearing room, MCAF’s field director, Gretchen Dahlkemper-Alfonso delivered a handmade support banner to EPA officials with the signatures of nearly 500 parents and children from the Southeast. A picture of the banner will be entered into the public record and it will hang in the Region 4 office.
In Denver’s Commons Park, families assembled for a Play-In for Climate Action followed by a march and press conference on Millennium Bridge. Partners, Colorado Moms Know Best and Climate Parents, joined with over 150 parents, children and Clean Power Plan supporters from throughout the Western states. Inside the hearing room, Supermom Marcia Eldridge and her daughter Josie delivered a banner with the signatures of several hundred children from across the country in support of the Clean Power Plan to Region 8 Administrator, Shaun McGarth. A picture of the banner will be entered into the public record and hang in the EPA Region 8 building. Eight MCAF supermoms delivered testimony, including MCAF’s editor, Ronnie Citron-Fink and CA regional field manager, Loni Russell.
Over 250 people joined MCAF at a Play-In outside EPA’s William Jefferson Clinton East building. Joining with our friends and allies from health, environmental, and faith communities, MCAF’s NC field manager, Terra Pascarosa led a press conference that included Senator Joe Markley, Senator Ed Markey and Governor Jack Markell. MCAF’s NJ field manager, Trisha Sheehan’s 8-year-old son Logan led the rally chanting: “What do we want?” … “Clean air!” Ten MCAF members, including Trisha, Terra and MCAF’s DC field manager, Julie Hantman, testified at EPA headquarters.
Weeks before the PA hearing, there were rumors circulating that the pro-coal opposition would be turning out in full-force to protest EPA’s Clean Power Plan. MCAF gathered for a lively Play-In with about 50 parents on the porch of the August Wilson Center for African-American Culture. After the event, families joined with over 1000 people for a press conference and rally headlined by Pittsburgh’s Mayor Peduto and MCAF supporter and supermom, Kathy Dahlkemper, former US Congresswoman and Erie, PA County Executive. We marched with our partners to the Moorehead Federal Building. Despite a large and emotionally charged turnout from the fossil fuel industry outside the hearing room, MCAF members and those in favor of the Clean Power Plan outnumbered those opposed 4 to 1.
It was an exciting week of parent activism! And as Dominique said in this week’s letter, “Thanks to people like you — with your reserves of energy — we are going to win this race. We must.”
Check out all the wonderful MCAF press HERE.
PLEASE NOTE: People also can comment on the proposal online or by email, fax or letter HERE. EPA considers all comments equally, no matter how they are submitted. The comment period on the proposal is open until October 16, 2014.