EPA battles with 15 states as thousands die from pollution in China

EPA battles with 15 states as thousands die from pollution in China

On Thursday, 15 state attorneys general filed a petition to stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan that was announced by President Barack Obama in early August.  


The Clean Power Plan was created to reduce carbon emissions from U.S. power plants by 32 percent below the levels documented in 2005. Every state will have to send a plan to the EPA that explains how they will reach the proposal’s target carbon levels by 2030. Many states that depend on coal for electricity are among the group fighting this plan.      


“This rule is the most far-reaching energy regulation in the nation’s history, and the EPA simply does not have the legal authority to carry it out,” said Patrick Morrisey, the attorney general of West Virginia.


Pollution in China


While these states are fighting the EPA, 4,000 people are dying from air pollution every day in China, according to a University of California study. The study shows that emissions from burning coal to power electricity in China are mostly to blame for the high number of lung, heart, and stroke problems throughout the country.          


“Nearly everyone in China experiences air that is worse for particulates than the worst air in the US,” said Robert Rohde, lead author of the recent air pollution study.


Carbon emission chart


Does the United States need to worry about losing its citizens to air pollution? In 2010, the EPA estimated that 63,000 to 88,000 people have died from air pollution in the United States. Hundreds to thousands of lives in the United States would be saved every year by cutting carbon pollution.


The 15 state attorneys general that are against the Clean Power Plan may be correct in saying that the proposal is strict. However, Carnegie Mellon University Professor Allen Robinson says that parts of the United States would have air close to as polluted as China if it wasn’t for “tough regulation.”


Is the Clean Power Plan too much or much needed? Does the United States need to be worried about reaching China’s level of carbon pollution? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.


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