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Georgia Leaders Speak Out in Support of New Carbon Protections and Clean Power Plan

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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Jenna Garland, Sierra Club, (404) 281-6398, jenna.garland@sierraclub.org

Georgia Leaders Speak Out in Support of New Carbon Protections and Clean Power Plan

Georgia Families, Economy Will Benefit from Clean Energy Solutions

ATLANTA, GA – Pastors joined doctors, business owners, energy experts and clean air advocates in voicing their support for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed protections from carbon pollution and Clean Power Plan today at a public hearing in Atlanta, one of only four in the nation. Georgia leaders, including Dr. Francys Johnson, president of the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, were united in recognizing how carbon pollution from power plants in Georgia are harming our communities, especially children, seniors and low-income families, as well as how curbing carbon pollution will bring benefits to Georgians from all walks of life. More than five hundred clean air advocates from Georgia and across the Southeast attended the public hearing, with many testifying in support of the proposed Clean Power Plan.

Georgia families have already experienced the effects of a destabilized climate. The Clean Power Plan will not only curb the carbon pollution that directly contributes to climate disruption; it will reduce harmful air pollution, such as smog and soot and other toxic air pollutants.  

“Asthma is the leading cause of emergency room visits to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Too many of Georgia’s children are suffering from asthma right now, but the Clean Power Plan can help protect these kids.  By 2030, the standards will save up to 6,600 lives and prevent 150,000 asthma attacks each year, because cleaning up carbon pollution will reduce other pollutants from power plants, such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury,” said Laura Turner Seydel, board chair of Mothers and Others for Clean Air.

The Clean Power Plan outlines pollution-reduction goals for each state and puts states in the driver’s seat to modernize how we power our country and our economy, create jobs and new investment and better protect American families.

​"We are stewards of a sacred trust for future generations.  If we fail to protect, sustain and manage the environment, our children's children will ask us how we squandered their inheritance.  Carbon pollution is a serious problem for Georgia and we need to take action now. The Georgia NAACP supports the Clean Power Plan and will continue to monitor the state’s largest polluters and ensure toxic pollution doesn't end up in the neighborhoods with the least power to say no," said Dr. Francys Johnson, president of the Georgia NAACP.

Mary Anne Hitt, national director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, attended the Atlanta hearings to testify in support of curbing carbon pollution. “We applaud the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and will work to make it even stronger because this new standard for carbon pollution gives my daughter, and all today’s kids, a fighting chance at a safe and promising future. Georgia can build on the success we’ve already had ramping up solar power and bringing in clean, low-cost wind to create jobs, lower power prices and clean up our air,” Hitt said.

New clean air safeguards will also spur innovation and accelerate the clean energy economy to create good American jobs. Georgia is already starting to transition from expensive, dirty fuels to a clean affordable energy future.   Georgia is on a path to powering close to 200,000 Georgia homes and businesses with reliable clean energy while keeping electricity rates low for customers. More than 10,000 Georgians already work in the solar, wind and energy efficiency industries with huge opportunities for more job growth.

“I started my company, Energy & Environment, after I saw the huge potential for energy efficiency to save power, money and protect our environment. Georgia can see huge job growth, huge savings and huge cuts in carbon pollution with energy efficiency solutions. Our small businesses can lead the way,” said John Noel, owner of Energy & Environment, LLC, and former state representative.

 

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