top of page
Industrial Smoke

Climate Pollution



The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a new plan to cut climate pollution from existing coal, existing gas, and new gas power plants. This is a big deal! The power sector is the second-largest contributor to overall climate pollution in the U.S., but currently, carbon emissions from existing fossil fuel power plants are unregulated. Strong climate pollution safeguards on power plant emissions are essential to protect Americans’ health and limit the climate crisis.


While the EPA's proposal is a good start, the agency must finalize the strongest possible version of these climate pollution safeguards by early next year to keep President Biden's promise to cut climate pollution in half by 2030. Health professionals must urge the EPA to enact the strongest possible climate pollution limits as quickly as possible. The EPA is accepting comments until August 8.

What can you ask for?


Ask the EPA to strengthen its current proposal in 3 ways:  1) require power plants to reduce their emissions more quickly, 2) apply the pollution safeguards to a wider number of gas plants, and 3) ensure communities have input on how the pollution safeguards are implemented at power plants.

  • About 60 percent of our nation’s electricity still comes from coal- and gas-fired plants.

  • The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) could help achieve a 37-41 percent reduction in carbon pollution (below peak 2005 levels) by 2030. These climate pollution safeguards on power plant emissions, once finalized, would close the gap and move us toward cutting climate pollution in half by 2030.

  • Reducing climate pollution would benefit the health of all people in the United States.

Ask the EPA to move quickly!

  • The EPA must finalize these rules no later than spring 2024 to ensure that a future Republican-controlled Congress could not use the Congressional Review Act to strike down these rules after the 2024 election.  

  • According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, poor air quality as a result of climate change can harm respiratory and cardiovascular systems. These health impacts include hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart attack, and stroke.

  • In 2030 alone, the proposed standards would prevent:

    • approximately 1,300 premature deaths;

    • more than 800 hospital and emergency room visits;

    • more than 300,000 cases of asthma attacks;

    • 38,000 school absence days;

    • 66,000 lost workdays

    • The cost of climate inaction is costing Americans at least $5,230 per second.

Ask the EPA to set the strongest climate pollution safeguards to protect communities that have historically been overburdened by pollution and that may continue to live on the front lines of fossil fuel plants.

  • Communities of color and vulnerable communities are more likely to get sick because of climate pollution.

  • In 2021, the EPA released a peer-reviewed study that showed communities of color are expected to see more loss of life, health, and employment from climate change than the U.S. population as a whole.

    • The report finds that African Americans are 40% more likely to die from higher temperatures than the general population if climate change is kept to 2 degrees Celsius.

    • Black children are 34% more likely to experience asthma exacerbated by climate change.

    • Hispanic and Latin American and Native Americans are 43% and 37% more likely to live in places where climate change threatens job opportunities.

Canva Images.png


Take Action

The EPA's process for submitting public comments can be difficult to navigate, so we created a tool that is completely editable for you to make your voice heard! We encourage you to add your story or make edits to the message body because personal comments are the most impactful. If you do not see a prompt to compose your message below, you may need to disable pop-up blockers on your browser to take action. 


What is climate pollution and where does it come from? 

What are the health effects of exposure to power plant emissions?

  • Burning fossil fuels at power plants releases energy, but other chemical reactions also release harmful air pollutants and heavy metals into the environment. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, air pollution from power plant emissions includes: 

    • Mercury: Coal plants are responsible for 42 percent of U.S. mercury emissions, a toxic heavy metal that can damage the nervous, digestive, and immune systems, and is a serious threat to child development. 

    • Sulfur dioxide (SO2): SO2 forms small particulates that can penetrate our lungs. It’s linked with asthma, bronchitis, smog, and acid rain.

    • Nitrogen oxides (NOx): Nitrous oxides are visible as smog and irritate lung tissue, exacerbate asthma, and make people more susceptible to chronic respiratory diseases like pneumonia and influenza. 

    • Particulate matter: Particulate matter, also known as soot, is linked with chronic bronchitis, aggravated asthma, heart attacks, and premature death. 

How is air pollution related to climate change?


I have additional questions, who can I talk to?

Interested in learning more? Check out this video below!

bottom of page