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Clean Power Plan is winner on many fronts

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced the Clean Power Plan with new protections designed to protect human health and the environment from the adverse global warming effects of carbon dioxide emitted by the power-generating industry. After nearly a year of “listening hearings,” the EPA published state-by-state guidelines that will reduce emissions of this greenhouse gas by 30 percent compared to 2005 releases. This is a win-win-win-win proposition.

The first win is better health, by preventing 140,000 attacks of childhood asthma, 2,500 hospitalizations and 470,000 missed school and work days each year.

The second win is an annual reduction of $55 billion in health care expenditures at a cost of less than $8.8 billion, easing pressure on rising medical expenses.

A third win is relief of pressure on Medicare and other governmental costs that increase the national debt.

The final, and the biggest, win is the impact on climate change, the greatest public health threat of this century. The 2014 National Climate Assessment for New York predicts more precipitation and more hot days and heat-related deaths, the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States.

This plan will help Buffalo by spurring demand for solar energy panels from the 1,000-job SolarCity factory. The 13,000-solar panel installation planned for Lackawanna will help New York meet its goal.

Join more than 300,000 people who have already commented on the EPA proposal. Support the Clean Power Plan and better health at the Physicians for Social Responsibility website www.psr.org.

Alan H. Lockwood, M.D.

Buffalo