Moms are working in North Carolina to fight for clean air and a stable climate. We host events, share information about what’s going on, and create opportunities for mothers to talk to their legislators about their concerns. Please join us in North Carolina, and let us know about your priorities.
members in North Carolina
How we’re making a difference in North Carolina
North Carolina Moms Work for Justice in Every Breath
Moms Clean Air Force works actively in North Carolina to address climate change issues that disproportionately harm communities of color. We are committed to bringing moms together to develop events, policies, and actions to end environmental injustices in North Carolina.
North Carolina moms join Moms Clean Air Force members across the country to support strong standards for tailpipe pollution from trucks.
On April 12, 13, and 14, dozens of Moms Clean Air Force staff and members from 18 states and Washington, DC, spoke out at EPA’s virtual public hearing about its proposal to clean up tailpipe pollution from heavy-duty trucks and buses. EPA’s trucks proposal is a welcome step forward but doesn’t go far enough. At the hearing, moms asked EPA to further strengthen the standards for heavy-duty vehicle pollution, to better protect children, people with asthma, older adults, and other vulnerable groups from the health harms of air pollution.
Moms Clean Air Force Senior Policy Analyst Elizabeth Bechard offered testimony.
Read Elizabeth’s full testimony HERE.
North Carolina moms join Moms Clean Air Force members across the country at a virtual EPA hearing to support restoring the legal foundation of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.
On February 24, 2022, Moms Clean Air Force North Carolina joined dozens of Moms Clean Air Force staff and volunteers from 15 states and DC to deliver testimony at EPA’s public hearing on its proposal to restore the appropriate and necessary finding of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. The mercury standards, finalized in 2012, are a public health necessity. They protect communities across the country from mercury and other harmful air pollution from power plants.
Moms Clean Air Force Senior Policy Analyst Elizabeth Bechard offered testimony. In her comments, Elizabeth talked about the premature birth of her twins:
“In addition to keeping dangerous levels of mercury out of our air, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards also cut fine particle pollution from power plants, which has been linked to numerous health harms, including an increased risk of premature birth.
“Almost six years ago, I found out what it’s like to be the mother of babies who are born too early. In March 2016, my twins were born at 34 weeks. They spent the first nine days of their life in the NICU at Duke University, and without treatment for respiratory distress syndrome, my daughter may not have survived. Premature birth is one of the leading risk factors for infant mortality, and here in North Carolina, prematurity accounts for 1 in 5 infant deaths. The health impacts of premature birth can be long-lasting: at almost six years old, my son still struggles daily with sensory processing disorder, which research has linked to premature birth.”
Read Elizabeth’s full testimony HERE.
Moms Clean Air Force joins the House Democrats’ Black and Brown Maternal Health and Environmental Justice Roundtable.
On September 8, 2020, Houston field organizer Catherine Flowers joined Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12), Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-2), Dr. Bruce Bekkar, Dr. Nathaniel Denicola, and Melinated Moms co-founder Alexcia Harrod for a roundtable discussion on the intersection of maternal health, air pollution, and climate change.
Catherine shared her own traumatic experience as a young mother of color, which has had a lasting impact on her life. She concluded, “This is a moment of reckoning for racial injustice and health disparities. Doing nothing about air pollution, which so clearly has a greater impact on Black Americans, is racism in action.”
Watch the roundtable HERE.
Congresswoman Adams joins Moms Clean Air Force for an important Juneteenth conversation on equity, justice, and climate in the African American community.
On June 19, 2020, Moms Clean Air Force hosted an event titled Let Us Breathe: A Juneteenth Conversation on Equity, Justice, and Climate in the African American Community. The event featured Representative Alma Adams (NC-12), Dr. Mildred McClain (Harambee House), Rev. Michael Malcom (The People’s Justice Council), Tina Spencer-Smith (Georgia Interfaith Power and Light), and Moms’ Houston organizer Catherine Flowers.
The conversation was moderated by National Field Director Heather McTeer Toney and highlighted the continual fight for racial justice, specifically environmental injustices in the African American community. We talked about how air pollution, climate change, and COVID impacts the African American community, and what needs to be done to ensure that we continue to advocate for equity, justice, and climate action beyond this national pandemic. The event ended with a call to action to take our Environmental Justice Pledge.
Moms applaud Governor Roy Cooper’s landmark climate initiative.
In October 2018, Governor Cooper signed Executive Order 80, which positions North Carolina to address risks from climate change by setting ambitious goals that will protect the health of our families, strengthen our economy, and make our communities more resilient. EO80 created the Climate Change Interagency Council to coordinate efforts among cabinet agencies to address the climate crisis and tasked the Council with preparing a Clean Energy Plan for the state.
North Carolina’s Clean Energy Plan, released in October 2019, commits the state to reducing electric-sector emissions by 70% by 2030 and reaching net zero emissions by 2050. North Carolina Moms are working to ensure rules for reducing climate pollution are set and these goals are met for the sake of our children’s future.
Working to ensure North Carolina leads on climate.
Governor Cooper has been a leader in the fight against climate change—committing North Carolina to reduce climate-warming pollution at least 50% from 2005 levels by 2030. Achieving these targets is critical to securing cleaner air, healthier communities, and a climate-safe future for North Carolina families.
A top contributor to the state’s greenhouse gas emissions—the electric power sector—provides North Carolina a huge opportunity to slash climate pollution. North Carolina energy and environmental regulators are currently working on two policies to cut carbon pollution from the electric-power sector: the Carbon Plan and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Because North Carolina is currently not on track to meet Governor Cooper’s climate pollution reduction goals, these two policies are a critical piece of the solution.
A law passed in October 2021, House Bill 951 (H951), requires the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) to take all reasonable steps to reduce carbon pollution from the electric power by 70% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Carbon neutrality means that we put no more carbon pollution into the air than what can be taken out. The NCUC must adopt a “Carbon Plan” by the end of 2022 to chart a path for electric utilities to achieve these goals, such as by investing in clean energy like solar and wind. Sign our petition to the NCUC calling for a strong Carbon Plan.
North Carolina is also developing a rule to set binding limits on carbon pollution and participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI (pronounced “Reggie”) is a proven collaboration of 11 Eastern states designed to reduce carbon pollution from fossil-fuel-fired power plants by placing a declining limit and price on carbon pollution. Since 2009, RGGI states have reduced power plant carbon pollution by 47%. RGGI has also created significant health benefits by reducing copollutants such as particulate matter, air toxics, and ground-level ozone, which all have adverse health impacts on families and communities.
Working together, the Carbon Plan and RGGI can complement one another to maximize pollution reductions to protect health and help address climate change. Moms Clean Air Force is calling on North Carolina leaders to swiftly advance these policies and secure a healthier future for our state.
Supporting Black maternal health.
The United States has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the developed world, and this crisis is especially dire for Black moms, who are dying at 3 to 4 times the rate of their white counterparts. Moms Clean Air Force works with Representative Alma Adams (NC-12) and the Black Maternal Health Caucus to support the Momnibus Act of 2020, a set of policies that would protect Black maternal health in North Carolina and across the U.S. These important policies include Medicaid coverage for the first 12 months postpartum, investments in rural maternal health, the promotion of a diverse perinatal workforce, the implementation of implicit bias training for maternal health professionals, and continuing study of the effects of air and water pollution on maternal and infant health outcomes with an eye to racial and ethnic disparities.
Advocating for environmental justice through Community Rx.
Moms Clean Air Force is committed to exposing environmental injustices in the African-American community by taking a stand against environmental discrimination, holding legislators accountable for lack of resources, educating communities on their rights and their issues, standing with impacted communities, and fighting for clean air and climate solutions to promote healthy children and healthy communities.
Through our environmental health justice program Community Rx, our goal is to advocate, educate, and amplify through partnering with impacted communities and environmental justice organizations on events and resource development. We hold Table Talks around the country, casual gatherings that organize, motivate, and activate volunteers, partner with churches to use our “Breath of Life” Bible Study, and provide information on environmental health issues in African-American communities.
Protecting our families from mercury pollution.
Moms Clean Air Force North Carolina advocates for strengthening the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. As the EPA under the previous administration worked to roll back MATS, North Caroline moms met with members of Congress to enlist their support in fighting efforts to weaken it. Now we are working with the Biden EPA on a robust standard that safeguards Americans against pollution linked to brain damage in babies.
Extreme weather and sea-level rise endanger our coastal communities.
Families in eastern North Carolina are already vulnerable to flooding from extreme weather like stronger hurricanes and heavy rainfall. Plus, with 322 miles of ocean coastline and more than 12,000 miles of estuarine coastline, North Carolina is uniquely vulnerable to sea-level rise. Without action on the root cause of climate change—air pollution from burning fossil fuels—by 2045 as many as 15,000 households in North Carolina will be at risk not only from extreme weather but also from displacement because of sea-level rise.
In part because of historical housing policy, North Carolina’s Black, Latino, and Native American residents are more likely to live in floodplains and are at increased risk of experiencing flooding from climate change. Children and families that lose their homes or possessions during a flood or other extreme weather can suffer lifelong impacts, including depression and anxiety, chronic and infectious disease, substance abuse, and fewer educational and job opportunities.
North Carolina residents are also concerned about sea-level rise as a coastal state that cherishes its beaches and thrives on beach-related tourism. Limiting the pollution that fuels extreme weather and threatens our coastal resources is more important than ever.
Our families are suffering from heat-related disease and death.
Because of climate change, North Carolina is experiencing more frequent heat waves, higher nighttime temperatures, and some of its hottest summers on record. As average summer temperatures rise so does heat-related illness, like heat stroke and dehydration. From 2009 to 2017, North Carolina saw an overall increase in heat-related visits to the emergency room.
Children, pregnant women, older adults, and low-income populations experience disproportionate impacts from extreme heat. Rising temperatures and poor air quality are associated with increased risk of preterm birth and maternal and infant mortality. And families with limited financial resources may not have access to adequate cooling or the medical care needed to treat heat-related illness.
North Carolina is the birthplace of environmental justice.
Our state has a long history of environmental activism, particularly around environmental justice issues. In 1982, one of the nation’s first protests for environmental justice took place in Warren County, NC. This protest against the placement of a new hazardous waste landfill is considered the spark of the current environmental justice movement and inspired many academic studies showing the connection between environmental hazard placement and minority communities.
On September 22, Moms Clean Air Force Senior Policy Analyst Elizabeth Bechard joined Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05), Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-14), Rep. Mike Levin (CA-49), Rep. Troy Carter (LA-02), Madigan Traversi and Giselle Perez from Schools for Climate Action, and the Climate Mental Health Network for a press conference on the impact of climate-related disasters on the mental health of youth.
On September 21, Moms Clean Air Force Senior Policy Analyst Elizabeth Bechard traveled from Durham to Washington, DC, to participate in a lobby day for H. Res. 975, a resolution that seeks to address the mental health impacts of climate change on young people. The lobby day was organized by Schools for Climate Action in partnership with Moms Clean Air Force and the Climate Mental Health Network. Eighth graders from the Park School in Baltimore joined for the day of meetings on Capitol Hill.
On June 29 and 30, Moms Clean Air Force joined our partner organizations to testify before EPA in favor of several waivers allowing California to set stronger tailpipe pollution standards for heavy-duty vehicles than federally required. Read Senior Policy Analyst Elizabeth Bechard’s full testimony HERE.
On April 20, Senior Policy Analyst Elizabeth Bechard gave testimony at EPA’s virtual public hearing for the Cross State Air Pollution Rule, which will help clean up ozone pollution that knows no borders. Read her testimony HERE.
On April 16, Kids Clean Air Force North Carolina members shared their thoughts about clean air and climate change in Moms Clean Air Force’s Youth Voices Talk Climate Change program. Watch the replay.
On April 12, 13, and 14, dozens of Moms Clean Air Force staff and members from 18 states and Washington, DC, spoke out at EPA’s virtual public hearing about its proposal to clean up tailpipe pollution from heavy-duty trucks and buses. Moms Clean Air Force Senior Policy Analyst Elizabeth Bechard offered testimony. Read Elizabeth’s full testimony HERE.
On February 24, Moms Clean Air Force North Carolina joined dozens of Moms Clean Air Force staff and volunteers from 15 states and DC to deliver testimony at EPA’s public hearing on its proposal to restore the appropriate and necessary finding of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Moms Clean Air Force Senior Policy Analyst Elizabeth Bechard offered testimony. Read Elizabeth’s testimony HERE.
On June 19, Moms Clean Air Force hosted an event titled Let Us Breathe: A Juneteenth Conversation on Equity, Justice, and Climate in the African American Community. The event featured Representative Alma Adams (NC-12), Dr. Mildred McClain (Harambee House), Rev. Michael Malcom (The People’s Justice Council), Tina Spencer-Smith (Georgia Interfaith Power and Light), and Moms’ Houston organizer Catherine Flowers and was moderated by National Field Director Heather McTeer Toney. The conversation highlighted the continual fight for racial justice, specifically environmental injustices in the African American community and ended with a call to action to take our Environmental Justice Pledge. Watch the event HERE.
Moms Clean Air Force North Carolina members traveled to Washington, DC to meet with their Senators and urge them to oppose the nomination of Scott Pruitt to head EPA.
Moms Clean Air Force North Carolina hosted a “School’s Out Food Drive” contributing to the over 4,542 pounds of food collected by Moms Clean Air Force chapters nationwide.
Moms Clean Air Force North Carolina tabled at the Asthma Alliance Summit.
Moms Clean Air Force North Carolina hosted a Mama Summit at the NC General Assembly in Raleigh.
Moms Clean Air Force North Carolina hosted a Read-In at Childtime Learning Center.
4th grade teacher, Debbie Baucom conducted a Read-In at Blair Elementary School, in Wilmington.
Moms Clean Air Force North Carolina attended the Breathe Conference.
Moms Clean Air Force North Carolina attended NC Breathe Conference and tabled for the first time with the Healthy Air Alliance, which Moms Clean Air Force created.
Moms Clean Air Force North Carolina hosted a luncheon–Meet, Eat, & Discover: Health Benefits of Clean Renewable Energy with Katharine Hayhoe & evening Townhall with Greg Fishel.
Moms Clean Air Force North Carolina hosted a Raleigh Read-In of “Every Breath We Take” in partnership with the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Over 75 kids and 15 adults were in attendance.
December 2015-January 2016
North Carolina Public Hearings on the Clean Power Plan held in Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington.
North Carolina has been feeling the effects of our nation’s reliance on fossil fuels for decades. Breathing healthy air is essential to life, and a North Carolina Clean Power Plan can continue our state’s tradition of preserving healthy air for generations to come. For the sake of our children’s health we must ensure that our energy future is renewable, clean, and healthy. Governor McCrory can protect public health by creating a real plan to cut pollution. An effective plan will keep kids out of the hospital and in school or playing outside, and help keep older adults, athletes and outdoor workers breathing easier. We urge Governor McCrory to stop playing politics with public health. He should create a real plan to continue North Carolina’s tradition of reducing air pollution and building our clean energy economy.
Moms Clean Air Force North Carolina co-facilitated a full-day Clean Power Plan strategy meeting with state coalition climate partners.
Moms Clean Air Force North Carolina attended the 22nd annual NC Climate Justice Summit.
Moms Clean Air Force North Carolina met with NC Attorney General’s office to discuss America’s Clean Power Plan.
Moms Clean Air Force North Carolina attended the NC Environmental Management Commission Meeting.
Moms Clean Air Force North Carolina attended “Leadership in a Time of Rapid Change: Envisioning Solutions to Environmental Challenges” at Duke University Nicholas Institute for the Environment.
Mama Summit 2015 – Moms Clean Air Force members gathered at the state capitol in Raleigh to call on elected officials to take action on climate. The North Carolina Mama Summit delivered a powerful message that moms, dads, grandparents, health advocates and faith leaders are united and serious about holding legislators accountable for clean air and climate justice. The impetus to act on air quality and climate is strong for North Carolina Moms Clean Air Force members, many of whom live in counties that received a failing grade from the American Lung Association’s State of the Air Report, and where imminent sea level rise and oil and gas exploration threaten the health and economy of residents throughout the state.
Moms Clean Air Force North Carolina hosted a Charlotte, NC Town Hall on Children’s Health & Climate Change
Moms Clean Air Force volunteers and organizers collected almost 1,000 comments in support of EPA’s carbon rule on new power plants at the annual Lake Eden Arts Festival, also known as LEAF, in Black Mountain, NC. Our team got record participation from festivalgoers from throughout the Southeast.
- PR.com, Healthcare, Parent, and Faith Organizations Join Together for the First Time to Discuss Health Benefits of Clean, Renewable Energy
- NC Headlines, HEALTHCARE, PARENT, AND FAITH ORGANIZATIONS JOIN TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME TO DISCUSS HEALTH BENEFITS OF CLEAN, RENEWABLE ENERGY
- The Herald-Sun, Studying light, power for schools
- The Herald-Sun, Coalition pushes case for solar powered schools
- McClatchy DC, Mothers take fight against climate change to Washington
- Merced Sun-Star, Mothers take fight against climate change to Washington
- Sun Herald, Mothers take fight against climate change to Washington
- The Island Packet, Mothers take fight against climate change to Washington
- The Kansas City Star, Photo gallery: Star Shots, best photos from July 7
- Centre Daily Times, Mothers take fight against climate change to Washington
- The News Tribune, Mothers take fight against climate change to Washington
- The News & Observer, Mothers take fight against climate change to Washington
- Miami Herald, Mothers take fight against climate change to Washington
- The Charlotte Observer, Mothers take fight against climate change to Washington
- The Sacramento Bee, Mothers take fight against climate change to Washington
- EcoWatch, Victims of Coal Ash Contamination Demand Access to Solar at Duke Energy’s Shareholder Meeting
- Blue Nation Review, Protesters Keep Pressure on Duke Energy
- Grist, An inclusive climate movement starts to rise in the Southeast
- Qué Pasa Mi Gente, Reenergizar las escuelas de Charlotte
- EcoWatch, Parents, Teachers and Students Ask School Districts to Go 100% Renewable Energy
- Buzz Flash, Parents, Teachers and Students Ask School Districts to Go 100 Percent Renewable Energy
- Creative Loafing, Caroling for clean energy
- Creative Loafing, N.C.’s fossil fuel fury
- Charlotte Observer, Mothers bring kids to Senate to push for EPA’s climate change rule
- The State, Clean Air Carolina teams up with national mom group to rally around clean air