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Posted on Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 2:38 p.m.

Michigan's senators stand up for constituents' health

By Letters to the Editor

Last month, our U.S. Senators Levin and Stabenow stood up for the respiratory health of our most at risk groups, children and seniors, and supported the Clean Air Act.

They voted down Senate Joint Resolution (S.J.R.) 27, a measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Rand Paul that would have delayed urgently needed improved air quality standards proposed by the EPA, maybe indefinitely. The Cross State Air Pollution Rule would prevent between 14,000 and 36,000 premature deaths each year, not to mention many thousands of serious but non-fatal asthma attacks, heart attacks, and strokes.

But big polluters made a serious effort to delay this important rule that would require them to install scrubbers and act as good corporate citizens, protecting the health and welfare of children and seniors. Their short-sighted and reckless self-interest endanger public health. So let’s all take a moment and thank Senators Levin and Stabenow for putting the health and welfare of their constituents ahead of the special interests.

Karla Grossman
Project Director, Washtenaw Asthma Coalition



Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 7:18 p.m.

Dad-bern these scientists coming up with all these new ideas about clean air. Next thing you know clean water will be in their doggone sights. Oh boy, progressives just care too much about the welfare of people. Hits the bottom line don'tcha know.

Rita Mitchell

Sun, Dec 25, 2011 : 8:54 p.m.

Ms. Grossman is correct in her support of clean air and water: Our advantage over China, where masks and filters are required. Let's support keeping our air breathable for all, and avoid compromising the health of those already at risk.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 12:55 p.m.

When your electricty is turned off please remember it was Sen. Stabenow who voted to turn the lights off. Instead of making an informed and rational decision to give the electic utilities time to replace generation capacity she caved into the green lobby. She is beholden to special interests to fund her reelection bid as any other politician. Her primary focus is relection not effective governance.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 3:06 a.m.

In 2005 3,384 people in US died from asthma attacks. The 14,000 number is a made up number to advance a popitical adgenda.


Mon, Dec 19, 2011 : 1:57 a.m.

Yeah. Who needs clean air? At least I saved a couple bucks on my electric bill.


Mon, Dec 19, 2011 : 3:46 a.m.

dairy6 - Most people with severe problems have air cleaners, air conditioners and other devices (including oxygen) that depend on electricity. If we have days and days of rolling blackouts next summer, we may lose as many people as this was designed to save. Many of these same people are on a fixed disability income and may find they can't afford to run the air conditioner with the higher prices. Because of the size of the Texas delegation, the EPA actually delayed implementing the rules there. Nine other states also got delays - funny thing is they are all considered important to the President's reelection. They also mostly don't apply to the east coast (since the pollution travels over the ocean next). Michigan and Ohio take the biggest hit, followed by Indiana and Illinois. So as Michigan's cost of doing business rises with increased electricity look for more tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers to exit Michigan. The jobs will still exist, just not here. And with rolling blackouts, who would want to locate here. Funny thing is portable generators are dirtier than the large power plants, so the rolling blackouts may actually cause more air pollution than this bill saves. You may want to look here: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Or even read the transcripts from the hearings before you make up your mind. As to a couple of bucks - the average Michigan family pays approximately $100 a month for electricity - so a 30 percent increase would be in the range of $360 a year for the family. Then add the cost increases for food and other items they have to buy and you will see an impact of around $600 a family for the jump in electricity prices, before the impact of days with no pay because the power is out. The funny thing is the power plants hit the hardest by this rule are the ones that the owners cleaned up first. They have had scrubbers for years, scrubbers that are almost good enough...but not.


Mon, Dec 19, 2011 : 1:36 a.m.

Just so you know, the new EPA rules according to the EPA would only close a few power plants and result in small increases to the cost of electricity and natural gas. Based on announcements to date on closings, the new rules will cost the US approximately 20,000 jobs in the electric industry and raise the price of electricity over the next 2 years in Michigan by about 25 to 30 percent. While Ms Grossman quotes the highest numbers that any study has presented to date, she did not present the downside. What we don't know yet is if most of these plants close this spring, how many hours of rolling blackout we will see on hot summer days this summer. The bill would have delayed the rules and allowed the building of replacement power plants. Instead they will go into effect next month.


Mon, Dec 19, 2011 : 1:29 a.m.

&quot;The Cross State Air Pollution Rule would prevent between 14,000 and 36,000 premature deaths each year&quot; Now that's an exact science! LOL!

David Briegel

Mon, Dec 19, 2011 : 3:11 a.m.

And how many deaths are acceptable to you?


Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 11:31 p.m.

There is no possible way that your numbers have any basis in reality. 14000 to 36000? How come such a broad range? It suggests that there is a lot of uncertainty it the affect of this &quot;rule&quot;. When you use made up numbers to argue your point you undermine your point. Of course when your position is that every exhale of a human being is poison, I guess using made up numbers seems pretty reasonable.

David Briegel

Sun, Dec 18, 2011 : 10:46 p.m.

At every decision point in our political process, the Democrats attempt to do something to aid real live human beings and in order to achieve any progress they must &quot;compromise&quot; with TeaPublicons who insist upon allowing the corporations to do something bad to those same constituents. It seems to go without notice!

Billy Bob Schwartz

Mon, Dec 19, 2011 : 2:15 a.m.

jcj..... As ever, a most erudite commentary on a major issue. Thanks for the input.


Mon, Dec 19, 2011 : 1:30 a.m.

Blah Blah Blah!