- Has passed what are currently the strongest regulations enacted against toxic mercury, lead, soot, and arsenic emitted from dirty power plants
- Has invested in and expanded clean wind-energy
- Signed key land-protection legislation, safeguarding a million acres around the Grand Canyon from uranium mining
- Implemented new standards to double average fuel efficiency of new vehicles, in turn saving twelve billion barrels of oil from combustion
- Opposes various regulations for protecting against toxic pollutants
- Proposes to dismantle parts of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act
- Wants to end wind energy Production Tax Credit, bringing growing wind industry to a standstill
- Wants to overturn fuel-efficiency standards for automobiles
- Will approve the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, extending from Canada to Texas
What Will this Mean?
Under Romney’s plan, weaker pollution standards translate to higher levels of pollution in the United States and therefore a greater health risk to the population. If you’re wondering why it would make sense to lower pollution standards, it’s because the energy plan proposed by Romney favors fossil fuels such as coal and oil. Since these fuels produce a high amount of pollution, it’s difficult to expand the industry without lowering pollution standards. Unfortunately, however, these standards were put in place for a reason, that is, to protect our health. Lowering these standards is essentially prioritizing dirty energy (when other options exist) over the health of our population. Other proposals by Romney, such as lowering fuel efficiency standards and permitting the Keystone pipeline similarly prioritize the fossil fuel industry at the expense of human health. If you’ve forgotten how fossil fuels directly affect human health, refer to my earlier blog entitled Conserving Energy for Better Health at:
On the other hand, by increasing automotive fuel efficiency, investing in clean energy, and enacting stringent pollution emission standards, Obama’s plan will continue to establish a much cleaner environment for us to live in. If you think the health effects of air pollutants are overstated, keep in mind an estimated 60,000 American deaths each year are associated with inhaling particulate matter such as that produced by fossil fuel combustion. Furthermore, by investing in green technology early on, we’re not only reducing pollution, but in fact securing our energy independence in the long run; especially given that fossil fuels are a finite resource and that global political pressure to mitigate climate change is inevitably shifting the energy industry towards green technology.
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- Shahir Masri, MS
- Shahir Masri, MS