Contact: Patrice Tomcik, firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-999-2360
(HARRISBURG, PA) Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Environmental Quality Board (EQB) voted affirmatively to advance a rulemaking that will enable the state to reduce carbon emissions from the power sector by linking to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). In response, Patrice Tomcik, Project Manager for State Campaigns, Moms Clean Air Force, issued the following statement:
“Moms across the Commonwealth are thankful to the Environmental Quality Board for listening to them and advancing Governor Wolf’s rule to protect children’s health and the climate from the power sector’s dirty air pollution. Reductions in carbon and the associated harmful air pollution from the power sector can improve public health by reducing asthma attacks, heart disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, cancer, and premature death. Moms look forward to participating in a robust public comment period to help ensure that carbon pollution protections in the commonwealth are among the most comprehensive and protective of our children’s health and the climate.”
A recent analysis by the state DEP indicates that participation in RGGI will result in a reduction of up to 639 premature deaths from respiratory illnesses and 30,000 fewer hospital visits for respiratory illnesses like asthma for children. This is further supported by a first of its kind study that shows by lowering harmful soot from power plants, RGGI has helped to avoid asthma attacks, pre-term births, low birth weight, and more. The health benefits were quantified between $191 million and $350 million.
Pennsylvania is the third largest greenhouse gas polluting state and is home to the fifth dirtiest power sector in the nation. Linking to a program such as RGGI is critical to achieving reductions in greenhouse gas pollution outlined in Governor Tom Wolf’s 2019 Executive Order.