I have the opportunity to speak out in support of the Clean Power Plan at the EPA listening session this week. This is what I plan to say:
My name is Skye Borden, and I am the director of Environment Montana, which is a statewide advocacy group working to protect the clean water, clean air, and open space. And, today, I’m here to speak in opposition to the current administration’s attempt to repeal the Clean Power Plan.
When it comes to kids and grandkids, there’s one thing that all Americans can agree on: We want our kids to be safe and healthy.
Yet scientists warn us that if we want our children to have a safe and healthy future, we need to do more to reduce the pollution that’s warming our planet and changing our climate.
Since 2001, we’ve experienced 17 of the 18 warmest years on record. As the oceans warm, we’re learning that it’s no longer a question of if the Arctic ice sheet will melt, but when and how fast. Warmer oceans are supercharging storms like Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Rising seas are more frequently flooding cities from Boston to Miami. And Wildfires throughout the West are burning hotter and lasting longer into the fall.
In Missoula, where I live, a flash drought last summer turned our hillsides into a tinderbox. By August, our whole valley was covered in thick smoke from the Lolo Peak fire. We kept our toddlers inside and our indoor air filter on full blast, but night after night, the kids would wake themselves up coughing, and they’d cry, and we’d coax them back to bed.
And then we’d stay up, wondering when the smoke was going to end. Wondering if this was going to become the new normal for us. Wondering if staying in this place, that we love to much, was going to cause permanent damage to their tiny little developing lungs.
I believe we have a moral obligation to future generations, as well as all life on the planet, to reduce the pollution that’s warming the Earth and disrupting our climate.
And my view is one that’s shared by millions of Americans. When the EPA was first considering the Clean Power Plan, it received a record-breaking 8 million comments in support of it. Today, the majority of Americans in every state – including here in Wyoming – support placing carbon pollution limits on power plants.
I hope that the EPA will respect the will of the people and will act to uphold the Clean Power Plan. I believe the future of our children depends on it. Thank you.