What’s Your Number?

Cross-posted at Moms Clean Air Force

How many premature deaths due to air pollution are acceptable?  American Electric Power (AEP) says 34,000 in two years ia A-okay.  AEP is a huge polluter and they’re spending a ton of money to try to limit clean air standards.  They’ve even drafted legislation that would allow them to continue polluting.

Why does AEP think they can change the laws to allow them to continue polluting? Ordinary citizens, mothers and fathers and children, have the right to stand up to AEP and tell them to stop polluting.  We have the duty to tell our representatives to protect our families’ health.  Why should we allow AEP to continue to pollute? Why should we AGREE to let an estimated 34,000 people die due to air pollution?

Let’s ask AEP: How many lives are you willing to sacrifice with your assault on clean air standards?  #WhatsYourNumber?

Send AEP an email, then spread the word with these tweets:

34k premature deaths from @AEPnews’s dirty air bill. How many deaths are ok? #WhatsYourNumber #CleanAir http://goo.gl/34syA Tweet this!

@AEPnews’s Dirty Air Bill = 240k asthma attacks and 34k premature deaths. Acceptable? #WhatsYourNumber http://goo.gl/34syA Tweet this!

No advanced pollution controls on 40% of @AEPnews’s plants. How many lives is that costing? #WhatsYourNumber http://goo.gl/34syA Tweet this!

@AEPnews #1 polluter spends 0.5% on #energy efficiency. Their legislation would cost 34k lives #WhatsYourNumber http://goo.gl/34syA Tweet this!

@AEPnews #1 polluter dirty air bill = more mercury, more asthma, 34k early deaths. #WhatsYourNumber http://goo.gl/34syA Tweet this!

@AEPnews $1.2 billion in profits and their bill would cause 34k premature deaths. #WhatsYourNumber http://goo.gl/34syA Tweet this!

@AEPnews’s Dirty Air Bill = More kids exposed to toxic mercury, more worry for moms. #WhatsYourNumber http://goo.gl/34syA Tweet this!


Filed under Sustainable Living

3 responses to “What’s Your Number?

  1. This is actually an interesting question, from a policy standpoint. The flip side of the coin is that some deaths (I would wager many fewer than coal causes) could be caused by eliminating coal as an energy source. Let’s say not allowing coal-burning increases the cost of energy, at least temporarily. For some people higher energy prices might mean turning the thermostat to 68, buying a smaller TV or taking one less vacation. But for low-income families, it could mean less fresh food, fewer medications, no health insurance, etc. Policy analysts know that less income for some means a shorter life. Personally, I would favor cleaning up or eliminating coal and then subsidizing energy costs for low income families by taxing higher income ones at least temporarily if it drives up the cost of money (this would be cost-shifting to those who could afford it), but that would not necessarily happen in reality b/c not everyone loves cost shifting.

    This is all just to point out that there is usually a cost to cleaning up the environment. Sometimes that means less money for other government programs (which might extend lives or prevent deaths), and sometimes it means less money for individuals to spend — it’s a finite pie of resources.

  2. I think my last comment is rambling and confusing and not that helpful– feel free to delete. All I wanted to say is that I sometimes wish there were a little nod to cost in these matters, b/c we could probably prevent 34,000 premature deaths doing any of a number of things.

    Nonetheless, the more salient point here is that energy SHOULD be more expensive. When I use my kilowatt/hour of energy supplied by burning coal, it’s only cheap b/c I’m not paying the environmental and health care costs of those breathing in the mercury and other toxic chemicals that are a by-product of my energy use. I wish energy were more expensive just like I wish gas were more expensive — then maybe there would be a bigger push for efficiency, people would actually turn the thermostat down and their unused electrical devices off, b/c they would immediately see the effect in their pocket books. I actually just learned this year that all that mercury in your fish and other places, so that you have to carry around a “safe seafood” list with you everywhere, is because of COAL!

    • Betsy, your statement about all mercury coming from coal is inaccurate. Yes, a lot of it comes from coal, but there is also mercury in our rivers here in CT from manufacturing during the nineteenth century, especially hats (“Mad Hatters”…), so it’s not ALL from coal.

      I agree with your point about cost-benefit analysis, and that’s actually a parts of the course I teach. Part of what makes each potential solutuion to an environmental problem so difficult is that there are always trade-offs.

      I personally choose to pay more for “clean energy options” to have an equivalent amount of energy from wind and hydro put into the grid for what we use at our house. It works out to about $7 a month extra, which we feel is worth it. Of course, conservation is key.

      I’m not sure my point in the post was totally clear though. I’m not saying that we should toughen that legislation to save those 34,000 lives in 2 years. AEP has drafted legislation to WEAKEN the existing Clean Air Act, thus resulting in an additional projected 34,000 deaths. I personally don’t believe that any company should be allowed to weaken legislation that protects our children’s lives. Since this legislation is already in place, I don’t believe that keeping it will influence costs any more… but I do see how weakening it might make energy costs cheaper. Hope that makes sense!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s