Monday, March 12, 2012

New Ads Put Face on Cost of Carbon Pollution In PA Public News Service-PA

(03/12/12) HARRISBURG, Pa. - New television ads you may be seeing in Pennsylvania aim to shed light on the health effects of industrial carbon pollution, especially on children.

Two environmental groups are rolling out a large-scale advertising campaign to bring problems connected to industrial carbon pollution to light. The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club say emissions from power plants hurt health, the economy and potentially, the future.

NRDC Senior Scientist Kim Knowlton says the ads take into account growing evidence that warming temperatures are making smog pollution from industrial sources worse, which in turn causes asthma attacks and other respiratory illnesses.

"For the people of Pennsylvania, this is a set of issues that really hits home, around air pollution, extreme heat, flooding and the health risks attendant on that."

William Kramer, field organizer for the Sierra Club's "Beyond Coal" campaign in Pennsylvania, says asthma rates in some communities around Philadelphia are running at 20 percent, even 30 percent in lower-income and African-American neighborhoods.

"We're really talking about a public health cost that industry is not paying, and they need to clean up their act so that other people don't suffer as a result of their dirty business."

Kramer says the goal of the ad campaign is to grab the attention of Pennsylvanians while they're in their chairs, with a message that can spring them into action.

"Make phone calls, write letters, do all the basic stuff with democracy, to make sure that our elected officials work for us and not for the polluters. And we'll accomplish our job."

The groups say they're hopeful for change, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected as early as this week to propose the first-ever safeguards against industrial carbon pollution from new power plants.

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