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Moms Fight for Clean Air

Moms are fighting for clean air for children across the country. (Virginia Carter)
Moms are fighting for clean air for children across the country. (Virginia Carter)
May 23, 2016

BALTIMORE – The Maryland Commission on Climate Change will be meeting twice this week to discuss an update being made to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

The idea is to set climate pollution limits on fossil fuel power plants through 2030.

Environmental groups, community leaders and activists say it's important to attend because climate change has such an impact on families in the Northeast.

Trisha Sheehan, a deputy field manager for the advocacy group Moms Clean Air Force, says dirty air affects everyone, but in some communities it's worse than others.

"Usually lower-income communities of color, those are the communities where coal-fired plants are usually near, or where oil refineries and different fossil fuels will set up, and those are the areas that have the most polluted air," she states.

Sheehan says attending the meetings is important so that the initiative's revenue is equitably distributed in Maryland. They are being held today and Friday at the Maryland Department of the Environment Headquarters in Baltimore.

Moms Clean Air Force began in 2012 and is active in about two dozen states.

Sheehan says the group holds Mama Summits in each state during the summer.

"We bring moms and children to the statehouses across the country and we advocate for our children's health and we do a day of what does it look like to talk to your elected officials?” she explains. “Some of these moms have never even been in the state capital. Some of them have never had a meeting."

There's also a play-in in Washington in July. She says it's a family friendly event with people from across the country attending. It includes a rally at Upper Senate Park to call for climate action.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MD