For Immediate Release
August 14, 2023
Contact Information

Flo McAfee

(BPRW) Sierra Club’s Ben Jealous and National Medical Association’s Dr. Doris Browne Join Climate Advocates Delivering Over One Million Public Comments to EPA

Comments call for the strongest limits on dangerous power plant climate pollution

(Black PR Wire) WASHINGTON, D.C. — Leaders at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received strong messages in the more than 1 million public comments submitted from Americans across the nation calling for stronger limits on dangerous power plant climate pollution. Organized by the Climate Action Campaign, the hand-delivered comments marked the largest single comment delivery to the EPA for any major rule since the start of the Biden Administration.    

“We stand together at a crossroads for the future of a livable climate,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Ben Jealous during the delivery event. Noting the historic number of public comments, he remarked that “each comment represents a voice demanding strong carbon pollution standards for America’s power plants.” 

There are over 3,400 fossil fuel-fired power plants in the United States. More than one-quarter of America’s climate pollution comes from power plants and fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, the largest source of electricity generation in the United States. Although climate advocates acknowledge that the EPA’s current proposal is a step forward in cutting climate pollution from the power sector, they remain deeply concerned that it does not go far enough

“The pollution causing climate change also degrades our air quality, harming public health in disproportionate ways,” said Dr. Doris Browne, past president of the National Medical Association (NMA), the oldest and largest association of Black physicians in America. “Communities overburdened by toxic air feel the health impact of climate change, which increases many existing health risks. So when we stand up for stronger standards to cut climate pollution from power plants, we are standing up for our own health and well-being.”

Shellilyn Marie, a Wheelchair Agent at the Phoenix Airport, highlighted the real-world impacts of climate change and how America’s reliance on fossil fuels has affected her life. While living in Hawaii for nearly a decade, she was displaced by the Red Hill Water Crisis, a massive fuel leak that contaminated Oahu’s water supply. Eventually, she moved to Arizona, where residents are suffering through an historic, climate-fueled extreme heatwave. 

“At work, even with the air conditioner on inside the jet bridge, it can still feel like you’re standing in an oven,” Marie said. “It’s common to see the temperature reach above 100 degrees in the jet bridge, and gate agents worried that prolonged exposure to extreme heat was bad for passengers. But that’s the job. I don’t have a choice. I have to be there for my passengers.”

“We’re living the consequences of climate change every day in Arizona,” she said. “If the EPA wants to know why we need to do everything possible to cut climate pollution, they should look to us in Arizona. Our daily experiences are all the proof needed.”

These stories and others like them are reflected in the more than one million comments delivered that validate the need for the EPA to revisit and strengthen its proposal to cut climate pollution from power plants.   

It’s a dire necessity,” said U.S. Representative Don Beyer (VA-8). “The EPA’s proposal was a good start, but it needs to put in place the strongest possible limits on power plant pollution in order to meet the President’s commitment of cutting climate pollution in half by 2030.”