by Kathryn HIlton, Campus Coordinator PA, Sierra Student Coalition
Every day we face new obstacles, and every day we find new ways to overcome them!
One way, that’s not so new, but very effective, is submitting public comments. Yesterday, June 13, 2012 this is just what we did in Pittsburgh, PA. City council woman, Natalia Rudiak, felt compelled to stand up for Clean Air and hosted a citizen’s hearing in City Council Chambers.
When faced with facts like: $62 billion dollars a year is the annual health care cost for those made sick from the coal industry (National Research Council); Carbon Emissions from new coal fired power plants currently have no standards; EPA results show that more than 2.3 BILLION TONS of CARBON per year is released into the atmosphere as result of existing coal fired power plants- citizen’s take action! It’s inspiring to see a switch in someone to go from not knowing the FACTS to seeing just how important it is for our NEEDS to be heard.
Being present at this citizen’s hearing was great for me. I am a new staff member with SSC and this helped me see what an incredible community Pittsburgh has to offer! Hearing testimony from doctors, mothers, everyday citizens, and even a former US Representative was empowering, to say the least!
I, of course, submitted my own comment. I have a niece, Milay, who is just two and another on the way. I have so much love for these children that I must do everything I can to speak for them! I worry about her getting asthma from Smog. To think one day I will not teach her to play tennis or go on strenuous expeditions breaks my heart. I want her to love the things I do, but how can she do that if she can’t experience them because her health won’t allow?
The “what-ifs?” that I have no control over, no matter how well her mother and father feed her, no matter the quality of life she experiences, Milay cannot control the air she intakes. It brings tears to my eyes to think she might be limited in what she can achieve because big coal has no concern for public health, only profits.
Submitting public comments is an important way can make sure the EPA acts for us, not industry. We have until June 25, 2012 to do this, and it’s easier than you might think! Visit this link and submit your comment now! Don’t wait until tomorrow, because it’s always a day away. Comment now, and tell your friends you just took action, they should too!