Letter: Irked by Clean Power challenge | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Irked by Clean Power challenge

Lili Belmont
Glenwood Springs

As the mother of two active preschoolers who love to run and play outside, I’m delighted that the new Clean Power Plan rules will reduce air pollution from dirty power plants in the coming years. We just had a new baby and, like all Roaring Fork Valley parents, want clean, healthy air for our kids to prevent asthma and other childhood respiratory illnesses. That’s why I am shocked that Attorney General Cynthia Coffman will join a lawsuit challenging the Clean Power Plan.

Breathing dirty air increases asthma attacks, respiratory diseases, hospitalization and even heart attacks. It’s especially bad for children, whose lungs are still developing, as well as for their grandparents, who are more vulnerable to bronchitis, pneumonia and other illnesses. Implementing the EPA Clean Power Plan to cut air pollution from power plants with outdated equipment is critical to maintaining the health of our families.

The facts are clear: The plan will make kids and grandparents healthier.

The Colorado way is to collaborate to find solutions to the challenges our state faces. For years we have developed bipartisan clean air policies, garnering input from businesses, industry, government and the public. Citizens voted to approve a ballot initiative to establish a renewable energy standard. Our Legislature has twice increased the renewable energy standard, again with bipartisan support. Republicans and Democrats came together to develop and implement Colorado’s Clean Air Clean Jobs policy. Last year our Air Quality Control Commission approved groundbreaking clean air rules for oil and gas drilling supported by the leading companies operating in Colorado.

This cooperative approach is why Colorado is in great shape to meet the Clean Power Plan goals. Honestly, I’m confused about why our attorney general would be mulling over a challenge to the plan that is supported by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Xcel Energy. Gov. Hickenlooper said publicly that he sees no evidence to oppose it and that Colorado will able to meet the goals. Xcel Vice President Frank Prager said the company has been working for a very long time and are completely ready for the Clean Power Plan.

As a small business owner myself, I also know that Colorado¹s clean air and active lifestyle is good for our economy, too. My family moved our business here so we could raise our kids in the beautiful mountains, close to all kinds of outdoor activities. The Clean Power Plan will preserve our clean air and way of life that is important to attracting new businesses and workers to Colorado, as well as grow our the state’s clean tech economy. Good for kids and for commerce ­ the Clean Power Plan is a win-win all around. So I urge Attorney General Coffman to pull out of the lawsuit to challenge it. The health of our families ­ especially our kids ­ depends on clean air that the Clean Power Plan will help deliver.


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