This is my testimony in support of EPA’s new standards to limit carbon pollution from power plants:
I’m here representing more than a million members of Moms Clean Air Force who love their children, and one seven-year-old grandson too young to join us. But he is able to speak for himself. At age seven, he understands that we are harming our planet, that we have polluted the seas, and hurt sea creatures—which fascinate him to the point that he has stopped eating animals. When he grows up, he says, he wants to protect ocean creatures. He loves them. So, he explained to me, “why would I eat something I want to protect?”
We have come to a time in our human history when even a child has glimmers of our contributions to epic, global-scale catastrophe. A child—millions of children—now understand that our planet is in danger. It is too hot to go outside to play—for weeks at a stretch. The air is dangerous to breathe, day after day. Out of control wildfires, raging floods, devastating droughts—around the world—are supercharged by a changing climate.
We must get climate emissions under control. We have thrown so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that we have literally changed the chemistry of the oceans, home to those beloved sea creatures—something once unimaginable.
The power sector contributes more than a quarter of the carbon dioxide emissions that turbo-charge climate change and make life increasingly dangerous.
We cannot do nothing. We have no choice but to act. It is a moral imperative. For that reason, we are deeply appreciative of EPA’s efforts to rein in carbon emissions from new and existing power plants. We commend the agency’s determination to tackle the climate crisis—to say nothing of the health crises caused by air pollution. We commend EPA for tackling pollution from new and existing coal- and gas-fired power plants. We cannot, we must not, do nothing.
Another moral imperative: Do no further harm. We must not inflict even greater suffering on communities that have already borne the brunt of our industrial-scale fossil fuel pollution. Because why would we harm people we want to protect?
Members of Moms Clean Air Force have concerns about rules that result in the massive deployment of unproven (at scale), untested, unregulated, economically unfeasible, and potentially dangerous technologies that could make climate pollution worse and could harm the communities in which these technologies are sited. Community concerns must be heard; those concerns must be acknowledged and addressed.
We have at hand the tools to reduce emissions. It is the job of Moms to demand greater deployment—with far more urgency and focus—of clean, renewable, abundant, and sustainable sources of energy to gets us on a safer path. We have options for creating energy that do not emit carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere in the first place.
We will be faced with increasingly difficult choices in the years of turmoil ahead of us. We have a moral obligation to protect all we love—people, creatures, lands, oceans. We must do everything we can to slow and stop climate emissions, without sacrificing communities in the effort.