PRESS STATEMENT March 28, 2017
*Revised from original following the signing of the EO
UPHE STATEMENT ON THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S MOVE TO REPEAL CLIMATE CHANGE POLICIES
The Trump administration is leading us down a path where there would be no turning back in terms of the damage to our health and our environment
(March 28, 2017 – Salt Lake City, UT) – President Trump signed an executive order that would include a review of the Clean Power Plan with the intent to begin a process to repeal the plan that reduces carbon pollution from power plants. The order is also expected to rescind the moratorium on coal mining in federal lands. “What the current President and his new EPA administrator Scott Pruitt are proposing, along with the elimination of many other environmental regulations that keep us healthy, amounts to an inexplicable war on public health, and contradicts worldwide scientific consensus on climate change,” says Dr. Brian Moench, Board President of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment.
At its core, Pres. Obama’s Clean Power Plan was a critical program to protect public health in two ways–both from reduced pollution from coal and oil energy sources, and from its mitigation of the climate crisis by reducing carbon dioxide emissions, which itself is the most serious long-term threat to public health, and its accompanying pollutants such as nitrogen oxides. The Clean Power Plan came about after thorough research, and years of work and outreach by the EPA. It provided a flexible approach for states to meet their CO2 emission reduction goals. The estimated health benefits of the plan are calculated in the billions, and the number of premature deaths from pollution that would be prevented is in the thousands.
Recently, the medical community formally joined the rest of the world’s scientific community in calling for urgent response to the climate crisis. On March 15, a new consortium of 11 of the top national medical societies was launched, The Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health. The groups represent almost half a million doctors, about half of all the doctors in the country. Their mission is to inform the public and policymakers “that climate change threatens the health of every American.”
Utah Physicians for a Health Environment asks our state and city leaders to recognize the danger of delaying implementation and speak out for the community in support of the Clean Power Plan. “It’s time for state and city leaders to take action and stop this downward spiral,” says Denni Cawley, UPHE Executive Director. “Physicist Dr. Robert Davies has said that we are at the ‘danger zone of climate disruption’. The Trump administration is leading us down a path where there would be no turning back in terms of the damage to our health and our environment.”