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Efforts continue to quell the backlash over President Donald Trump’s changing statements on the Russia summit. Also on the Thursday rundown: protestors are out for Mike Pence’s visit to Missouri; and nobody wants to go, but one option is green burials.

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All Sides to Weigh In on Clean Power Plan

PHOTO: While public hearings will not be held in Michigan, residents can still have their say on the EPA's plan to reduce carbon emissions at power plants by submitting a comment online. Photo courtesy of Click / Morguefile.com.
PHOTO: While public hearings will not be held in Michigan, residents can still have their say on the EPA's plan to reduce carbon emissions at power plants by submitting a comment online. Photo courtesy of Click / Morguefile.com.
July 29, 2014

DETROIT - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to hear from Michiganders and others across the nation about its newly-announced Clean Power Plan, which sets state limits on the amount of carbon dioxide that can be produced by power plants.

Supporters say the new regulations will save thousands of lives each year and help reduce the effects of climate change. Critics say carbon pollution limits will have a devastating economic impact, but former EPA administrator Carol Browner says the Clean Power Plan is not an "either or" situation.

"We don't have to choose between a healthy economy and a healthy environment. The two go together," Browner says. "The EPA proposal is a clear example of how you can find common sense, cost-effective ways to clean our air and protect the health of our communities."

The agency will hold public hearings this week in Atlanta, Denver, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. Comments can also be submitted via the EPA website through October 16th.

Ken Fletcher, advocacy specialist with the American Lung Association in Michigan, says many people don't realize how costly air pollution is. He says thousands of Michiganders are negatively impacted by the effects of coal-fired power plants every year. Many are children, the elderly, or those living in poorer communities near smokestacks.

"It worsens asthma, triggers asthma attacks, and contributes to heart disease," says Fletcher. "By putting these rules in place, you could prevent up to 150,000 asthma attacks and 6,600 premature deaths annually by the year 2030."

Fletcher points to Michigan's growing renewable energy sector as evidence economic, environmental, and health benefits can co-exist.

"Clearly there's ways to make the transition so we can move to cleaner, less polluting forms of power that will give us health benefits down the road and save us money down the road," he says.

The White House estimates that capping carbon pollution in Michigan could add more than one billion dollars to the economy and create more than 16,000 jobs.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI