Linda Sánchez gave her testimony to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In this testimony she explained why she is particularly concerned about the impacts of air pollution on the Latino community.
She spoke about the need to reduce pollution and her concern for public health and she explained why she is concerned about the well-being of her Latino constituents. She said that power plant emissions are a health risk of particular significance for Latinos. With 31 percent of Latinos living within 30 miles of a power plant, they are165 percent more likely to live in counties with unhealthy levels of particulate matter pollution. This translates to high rates of asthma among Latinos. There are currently over 3.6 million Latinos in the US that suffer from asthma, including one in ten Latino children.
"I am here to declare that we can no longer afford to wait to act on climate change." Sánchez said. "I want a safe and secure future for my son, and I think millions of parents across the country would agree with me." She went on to say, "The Clean Power Plan is a serious step toward protecting Americans from the consequences of climate change. It clearly outlines the changes that must be made in order to limit the health and economic costs associated with carbon pollution."
She also waded into the feasibility of the plan citing her own experience in California. "I know this change is possible. My home state of California has already implemented many of the guidelines proposed by the EPA and the facts speak for themselves—California has the 4th lowest carbon emissions in the nation, and our electric bills are 25% below average."
She added her voice to the number of studies which suggest that there are also a number of benefits associated with the plan. She also made the point that failing to act would be much more costly to the economy.
"The benefits are significant, but the costs of not acting are much greater," Sánchez said. "On behalf of our country, my constituents, and the 28 million Hispanics living in areas with unhealthy levels of ozone, I urge you to fully implement the Clean Power Plan."
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