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Take, for example, the 160,000 lives it spared in just this past year. While air pollution from coal-fired power plants remains a deadly serious health threat, we must not allow ourselves to be persuaded into believing the problem is simply bigger than we can handle.
If "king coal" is here to stay, then defending the integrity of the Clean Air Act has never been more critical. Having spent the past several decades evading its lawful air pollution cleanup requirements, it is no surprise that "King Coal" continues to show no signs of surrender. That is why we must hold these corporate giants to task.
Allowing the Clean Air Act to move forward unencumbered by further attempts to weaken, block, or delay its progress will prevent a staggering 230,000 premature deaths every year by 2020 while also providing $2 trillion in annual economic benefits.
These are real solutions that coal-fired power plants right here in the United States can deliver--today. Let's not shortchange ourselves by anticipating a future that is any less than we deserve. Smog needn't be the cost of doing business.
Christopher Lillis, M.D.