Carbon pollution threatens our health

Carbon pollution spewing from power plants threatens Pennsylvanians’ health.  Doctors, nurses and scientists warn that it fuels global warming, which triggers poor air quality that makes it harder for children to breathe and contributes to thousands of asthma attacks, heart attacks and other fatal diseases.

Studies show that 836,880 Pennsylvania adults and 228,593 children already suffer from asthma.  Nationwide, smog pollution alone leads to roughly 4,700 premature deaths and 19,000 emergency room visits.  Allowing power plants to continue emitting unlimited amounts of carbon pollution will mean more global warming and dirtier air for Pennsylvanians.

Scientists also warn that global warming is expected to lead to more devastating floods, deadly heat waves and many other threats.

Coal-fired power plants need to be cleaned up

Coal-fired power plants are the largest single source of carbon pollution, yet they currently lack any federal limits on their carbon emissions.  And Pennsylvania’s power plants are a big part of the problem, emitting more carbon pollution than power plants in all but four other states.  

But big utilities like GenOn, which have been allowed for decades to spew unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into our air, all while taking in enormous government subsidies, are sure to fight for more of the same.  They’ll join with the coal companies and spend millions on lobbying advertising to try and get off the hook for cutting carbon pollution from their dirty power plants. 

With your help, we can make history

Enough is enough, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agrees.  Despite these powerful industry naysayers, the EPA is developing the first-ever carbon pollution standards for new power plants.

Now comes the hard part—getting these standards across the finish line and overcoming the corporate polluters’ opposition.  So we’re working closely with our allies in the public health community, working to rally tens of thousands of activists to stand up for public health and our environment.  

It won’t be easy, but if enough of us speak out, we can drown out the coal industry lobbyists and make sure EPA is allowed to do its job and protect public health.




Clean Air Updates

News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

PA given “F” Grade for spending Volkswagen settlement money

[Harrisburg, PA] -- With “National Drive Electric Week” kicking off across the country, two non-profit organizations released new information grading Pennsylvania officials for the state’s track record allocating its portion of the Volkswagen settlement funds.

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Report | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Volkswagen Settlement State Scorecard

It has been about three years since Volkswagen settled with federal authorities for cheating emissions laws in hundreds of thousands of vehicles advertised as “clean diesel.”[1] The settlement included billions of dollars to buy back the offending vehicles from consumers, as well as nearly $3 billion for the Environmental Mitigation Trust, to be distributed to every state and territory where offending vehicles were sold.[2] The Environmental Mitigation Trust funds are designed to be used for transportation projects that reduce pollution in an effort to mitigate the harm done by Volkswagen t

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Dozens of elected officials join together to call for clean air, crackdown on industrial pollution

(Pittsburgh)-- A group of 63 elected officials from across Allegheny County are calling for cleaning up the region’s air and cracking down on industrial polluters. In a letter released today by PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center, the officials call for stricter, health-based emissions limits and stronger penalties for illegal pollution.

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Report | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Elected Officials for Clean Air

Allegheny County is a great place to live―but air pollution is threatening residents' health. Sadly, our region has some of the worst air in the country. Allegheny County is in the worst 2% of the U.S. for cancer risk from air pollution and kids in some area schools suffer from asthma more than twice as often as state and national averages.

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Allegheny County Council Approves Motion Supporting Health Department’s Efforts to Ensure U.S. Steel Complies with Air Emissions Standards

Allegheny County Council on Tuesday passed a motion of council that endorses recent enforcement actions undertaken by the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) intended to foster compliance with existing air quality regulations for the good of public health—especially as it relates to U.S. Steel’s Mon Valley Works.

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