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VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

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The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Groups urge WA to warn about gas-burning health effects

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Monday, December 4, 2023   

The American Gas Association misled the public on the health effects of burning gas for decades. Now, a coalition wants the Washington State Department of Health to set the record straight.

Nineteen groups signed a letter to the agency calling for it to detail the public health impacts from burning gas in homes and buildings.

Past president of the Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility Mark Vosslier said his organization and others wrote the letter because the Department of Health has an important role in informing the public about health risks.

"Now that we know about the health risks of burning gas for heating and cooking," said Vosslier, "it makes perfect sense the department of Health can take an active role in shifting us away from unhealthy practices toward healthier practices."

The effect of burning gas inside homes, such as from gas stoves, includes a 42% increase in asthma symptoms among kids because of exposure to pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide.

The American Gas Association says gas ranges are a minor source of nitrogen dioxide.

The groups that signed the letter to the Department of Health note burning gas also impacts outdoor air quality.

Ruth Sawyer - climate and clean energy organizer with Sierra Club Washington - said cleaner alternatives are available, and the state has committed to a completely clean energy grid by 2040.

"There's a whole diversity of sources of renewable and clean energy," said Sawyer, "that the state is going to be investing in over the next many years to transition our electricity to be fully clean and renewable."

Vossler said we should no longer put people at risk by burning gas.

"Making an effort to reduce both indoor and outdoor pollution will save lives," said Vosslier.



Disclosure: Sierra Club contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, Environmental Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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