Usually, my supermom powers get me pretty far. Children off to school in the morning? Check. Semi-nutritious snack in backpack? Check.
Clean air for my children to breathe at recess? That's where I get stumped.
That's not the kind of thing that any mom, despite our numerous superpowers, can do alone. And that's why I was dismayed to hear that last week President Obama pulled back proposed smog standards that would have reduced air pollution. (1)
Tell President Obama and Congress that pollution weakens our economy and puts our children at risk.
Children are the most vulnerable to air pollution because their bodies are still growing and they tend to run around more outside -- often in the afternoons when smog pollution is at its peak. According to the American Lung Association, roughly half of the people in the U.S. live in communities where the air is unhealthy to breathe, including 37 million children. (1)
New smog standards would have helped. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson has said the ozone rules would save as much as $100 billion in health costs and prevent as many as 12,000 premature deaths from heart and lung complications. (2)
And as Nobel Economic Laureate Paul Krugman noted, investments in pollution reduction technologies and practices create jobs. Similarly, a report from the University of Massachusetts estimates that enforcement of the mercury and cross state pollution rules would create 1.5 million jobs. (3)
Tell the President and Congress that a healthy economy requires clean air and healthy people! Letting polluters off the hook won't save lives, won't create jobs, and won't fuel innovation. It will only endanger the health and lives of children and seniors!
Why make noise about this now after the decision has been made? Because the ozone standard is just one of several air-quality rules that are under attack in Congress. (4) Moreover, efforts to weaken the EPA and the Clean Air Act are gaining momentum and are emerging as a key issues in the presidential election. We want to make sure parent voices--not just corporate lobbyists--are heard on this issue as decisions are being made.
It's time for moms and dads to speak up for a clean environment for our children and families!
Thank you for your work on behalf of America's children and families.
-Donna, Kristin, Claire, and the MomsRising Team
P.S. Share your thoughts here about why clean air is important for your family. We'll deliver your thoughts to the President and Congress.
(1) http://www.stateoftheair.org/2011/health-risks/health-risks-childrens.html, http://www.stateoftheair.org/2011/key-findings/
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