Latinos Support First Critical Step in President's Climate Action Plan

Sep 20, 2013, 13:08 ET from Voces Verdes

Organizations and Leaders Express Strong Support for New Safeguards that Will Limit Pollution
and Help Protect Communities' Health

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Voces Verdes, Latino Ranchers and Farmers, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, and the National Hispanic Medical Association, their allies and members applaud the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) release of a proposal to limit carbon pollution from new power plants. This proposal is the important first-step to implementing the President's climate action plan unveiled last June.

"The new standard announced by the EPA will establish the first-ever national limit on carbon pollution from new power plants" said Dr. Elena Rios, President of the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA). "As doctors, nurses, and health professionals, we know that carbon pollution causes harm, particularly to children and the elderly because it makes smog pollution worse. This triggers asthma attacks and permanently damages and reduces the function of their lungs."

Latino leaders and organizations are showing their support for the new carbon rules recognizing that EPA is doing its job under the Clean Air Act to hold power plants accountable for the amount of pollution they spew into the air. The proposed standards will go a long way in protecting our future generations.

"Communities like Chicago's Little Village and Pilsen have lived with the impacts of carbon pollution and we applaud the President's plan to finally control coal-burning power plant carbon emissions," said Rafael Hurtado of Little Village Environmental Justice Organization. "For too long, two power plants no farther than 5 miles from our community blanketed our schools and playgrounds with unlimited amounts of carbon and our children paid the price. Anyone who thinks we don't need these rules is ignoring the very real impacts that families and children are shouldering in my community and many more across the nation."

Latino advocates also highlighted the importance of these rules in controlling climate impacts. "Generations of Latino ranchers, farmers and farmworkers have played a fundamental role in our agricultural economy," says Rudy Arredondo of Latino Ranchers and Farmers. "As farmers and ranchers, we have experienced the ravages of climate change first-hand. Droughts and floods have devastated our crops and land, threatening our livelihoods and our ability to continue to provide healthy fruits and vegetables to households across the U.S." Arredondo added, "The EPA's announcement today is a first step in combatting the real consequences of climate change that are impacting our communities and we are ready to be a part of the solution."

"The standard announced today will limit carbon pollution from new power plants, [and] help ensure that tomorrow's electricity won't come at the expense of our children's well-being.," says Adrianna Quintero of Voces Verdes. "We look forward to working with EPA to also set rules on the carbon pollution coming from existing power plants that are currently dumping unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into our air."

SOURCE Voces Verdes