Utah conservationists applaud EPA’s new carbon pollution standards

<span>SALT LAKE CITY – Conservationists in Utah and around the nation are applauding new standards that significantly reduce carbon pollution from existing coal-fired power plants. </span>

<span>On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency released its Clean Power Plan, which calls for a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions from the power plants by 2030.</span>

<span>Dr. Brian Moench, president of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, says the new standards are important because electric utilities account for more than a third of all carbon pollution in the U.S.</span>

<span>”We anticipate some short-term and immediate health benefits from this regulatory change,” he says. “And we obviously think that there will be some long-term benefit.”</span>

<span>Moench says the several coal-fire power plants in Utah will have to figure out how to comply with the new carbon standards.</span>

<span>The EPA says less carbon in the air also will benefit public health by avoiding more than 6,000 premature deaths, up to 150,000 asthma attacks in children and nearly a 500,000 missed work or school days. </span>

<span>Moench says the EPA may be underestimating the health benefit of cutting carbon emissions. </span>

<span>He says the government numbers do not consider air pollution’s link to cancer, pregnancy complications and other health problems.</span>

<span>”The calculations that the EPA made in terms of the expected health benefits are not taking into account some of these well-established health outcomes due to air pollution,” he points out. “So we think that those figures are actually an underestimation.”</span>

<span>Moench says having less carbon in the air should help to slow climate change, which is caused in large part by carbon in the air.</span>

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