This morning, AL.com published an op-ed challenging Twinkle Cavanaugh, president of the Alabama Public Service Commission, for comments she made live on Good Day Alabama last week in a debate with Dr. Stephen A. Smith of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy regarding the EPA-proposed Clean Power Plan. In that appearance, Cavanaugh claimed, “If I thought this had a health benefit, I would be looking at it with a different eye.”
The op-ed was also delivered directly to Cavanaugh as a letter, intended to educate her about the health benefits or reducing carbon pollution. The letter, penned by Dr. Stacie Propst, executive director of GASP, and Ashley Lyerly, and director of public policy for American Lung Association in Alabama, elaborates on the myriad health benefits the EPA anticipates from theÂ proposed carbon rules which would reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent by 2030.
“A quick review of the EPA website shows that ‘The Clean Power Plan has public health and climate benefits worth an estimated $55 billion to $93 billion per year in 2030, far outweighing the costs of $7.3 billion to $8.8 billion,’ directly Buy Cialis Online controverting her statement,” the letter explains.
“For the business minded, the EPA estimates that for every $1 invested in reducing carbon pollution, Americans will get back $7 in health benefits — or a 600 percent return on investment.”
They invited Cavanaugh to also learn about real Alabamians affected by dirty air. “If these numbers are too abstract, Ms. Cavanaugh should visit voicesforcleanair.com,” Lyerly and Propst said. “There, she would see firsthand how pollution from burning coal hurts real Alabamians.”
However, the most compelling argument was not to Cavanaugh’s business acumen, but rather to her values, values we all share. “Certain folks are especially vulnerable to dirty air: children, the elderly, the sick, low-income communities, and people of color. It is our moral responsibility to protect those among us who cannot always speak loudly for themselves. As a mother and public servant, we hope Twinkle Cavanaugh will revisit her stance.”
We certainly hope Cavanaugh will reconsider her position after learning more about the Clean Power Plan and how it will benefit our health and our pocketbooks.
Michael joined GASP in 2013 as communications specialist. He has lived in Birmingham since 2008, and is an active member of the Birmingham community. He’s a passionate advocate for health equity, civil rights and equality. He is currently serving as executive director. Email Michael