Statements on the President’s "Energy Independence" Executive Order
March 28, 2017
STATEMENT FROM MARY A. PITTMAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, PUBLIC HEALTH INSTITUTE
The Public Health Institute is strongly opposed to President Trump's new "Energy Independence" Executive Order. Ensuring access to clean air and water is a fundamental tenant of health and a necessity for healthy people, places and planet. The EO will jeopardize public health and exacerbate health inequities faced by low income communities, communities of color, and other vulnerable populations who are already disproportionately impacted by poor air and water quality.
Despite significant progress in the past decades, millions of Americans still live in counties with high levels of air and water pollution. We need our elected officials, government agencies and communities to come together to strengthen our environmental protections, not undermine them. All communities—in California, across the United States and around the world—have a right to clean air and water.
STATEMENT FROM DR. LINDA RUDOLPH, DIRECTOR OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH INSTITUTE'S CENTER FOR CLIMATE CHANGE AND HEALTH
President Trump’s Executive Order on “Energy Independence” threatens the public's health by undermining efforts to defend our communities, country, and planet from the devastating impacts of climate change—the greatest health threat of the 21st century. The Public Health Institute and its Center for Climate Change and Health stand opposed to these harmful measures.
Rolling back efforts towards clean, renewable energy puts the health and well-being of Americans last—especially our most vulnerable. At home and abroad, our children, elders, communities of color, and low-income communities will bear the worst health burdens of this short-sighted Executive Order.
President Trump’s Executive Order is a roadblock for the Clean Power Plan, and would abolish at least six other federal climate change actions. Because of these actions we will see positive momentum to build new green energy businesses slowed or reversed and exacerbated asthma and increased cardiovascular disease leading to more premature deaths due to increased burning of fossil fuels that increase particulate matter, ozone, and mercury into the atmosphere. Scientific evidence supports the direct relationship of poor air quality with these and other chronic diseases affecting millions of Americans.
If existing climate change prevention efforts were allowed to continue, they could prevent thousands of premature deaths and asthma attacks, with a potential health cost savings of billions of dollars. Instead, the recent Executive Order is a step backwards—one with dire consequences for current and future generations. The White House needs to listen to the voices of health professionals, scientists, and front-line communities that already see the health impacts of climate change and dirty energy on a daily basis: We cannot wait any longer to acknowledge and address the effects of climate change on our health and planet.
The “Energy Independence” EO benefits special interest energy polluters and is detrimental to the health of our children and the future of our communities in the United States and around the world.