Impacted Citizens Fight for Clean Power Plan
Recent Attempts to Block EPA Rule Spur Caledonia Families to Take Action
RACINE, WI — In a follow up to a meeting held in early October, Caledonia residents reconvened to discuss carbon pollution and dirty air in their community. Nearly 100 area neighbors met to share concerns and take action in favor of safe and clean energy.
Community member and organizer of the event, Bill Pringle, said “It is so important to have meetings like this. By coming together and discussing the myriad of health problems our neighbors have, it becomes quite clear that there is no coincidence — carbon polltion is affecting our families.”
Area residents report that they have experienced an increase of respiratory complications, including bronchitis and asthma. One attendee, Susan Huff was recently diagnosed with cancer.
Huff said, “I have to breathe this polluted and dirty air every day. As someone who was diagnosed with cancer, I am very aware of the impacts pollution from coal power plants can have on our health. There is no reason I, or anyone, should be subject to life threatening disease just because of where we live.”
After sharing stories on how dirty air has affected their lives, attendees took action. Matt Dannenberg, Field Director for Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, asked attendees to write letters to Senator Ron Johnson, Governor Scott Walker, and Attorney General Brad Schimel.
“If we are going to affect real change in Caledonia, and in communities just like this across the state, we need to tackle all angles of this issue. The Clean Power Plan is one policy that provides common sense solutions to reduce carbon emissions by 32% over the next 15 years.”
However, Wisconsin’s elected leaders have been vocal opponents to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Senator Ron Johnson recently signed on as a sponsor to resolutions in the US Senate that look to roll back this rule and Attorney General Brad Schimel joined a lawsuit that aims to block it.
Dannenberg continued, “Ron Johnson, Scott Walker, and Brad Schimel are out of step with everyday Wisconsinites like you and me. Corporate polluters are courting our state’s leaders and attempting to drown out our voices. However, by telling your stories, we are fighting back against these attempts. Johnson, Walker, and Schimel can no longer allow the health of Wisconsinites to hang in the balance.”
Additionally, at the event families penned letters to the editor and will submit them to area papers to help spread the word about the serious health problems that they and their children are experiencing. Some residents also circulated a petition to be sent to We Energies asking them to further investigate and test area homes for carbon pollution.
Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to electing conservation leaders, holding decision makers accountable and encouraging lawmakers to champion conservation policies that effectively protect Wisconsin’s public health and natural resources.