LANSING — Today, the president announced a new emissions plan that would undo the Clean Power Plan and allow states to set their own pollution rules. Part of the new emissions plan would incentivize power plants to continue operating coal plants instead of replacing them with renewable energy or natural gas projects. In response, state Rep. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) issued the following statement:
“As an elected official representing the ZIP code in Detroit with the worst air quality, I understand all too well the effect that these lax emissions rules could have on vulnerable people in our state. Between today’s new rules and the passage of recent legislation allowing corporate interests to oversee the Department of Environmental Quality, the health and well-being of Michiganders — especially those in Detroit and downriver, including those in Detroit who suffer from asthma at three times the rate of Michiganders as a whole — will be increasingly at risk.
“In the last three years, I have introduced legislation to advance environmental justice in our state, including bills to create an ombudsman responsible for monitoring air quality, and to direct fines from corporate polluters financially responsible back to the communities whose air they tarnish. If today’s proposed rules go into effect, we will recommit to fighting even harder. I will continue to work tirelessly with officials in the state to ensure our air quality — and in turn, our public health and quality of life — is protected for Michiganders everywhere.”