Moms Clean Air Force takes on polluters

Clean air: It’s the law. Help us keep it that way.

Blogger Roxana Soto with laptop and kids

EDF is supporting a group of committed, influential bloggers like Roxana Soto who call themselves the Moms Clean Air Force.

Clean air is everyone’s right.

That's why EDF is supporting a powerful group of bloggers who have banded together as the Moms Clean Air Force.

Since its founding in the spring of 2011, the Moms have been joined by more than 100,000 members.

Their mission is to protect their kids from industries and politicians that are trying to gut the Clean Air Act and shackle the Environmental Protection Agency.

"We want to energize moms, mothers-to-be and dads," says Dominique Browning, who is the lead blogger for the Moms Clean Air Force. "They are the ones with the biggest stake in protecting the Clean Air Act."

Clean air: It’s the law

The Clean Air Act is one of the most effective environmental regulations ever passed.

It provides $30 in economic benefits for every $1 invested in pollution controls. Since its passage in 1970, nitrogen oxides in our air have fallen 39%; sulfur dioxide, 63%; lead, 98%.

And yet lobbyists and politicians in Washington are trying to keep EPA from enforcing the Clean Air Act.

In one all-night session in the House of Representatives in March, 2011 they tried to slash EPA funding by $3 billion and effectively strip the agency’s authority to protect our health.

“They were trying to unravel the legal fabric that has protected the health and safety of our families and our neighborhoods from dangerous air pollution for over 40 years,” warned Vickie Patton, EDF’s chief legal counsel.

kids at playground

Young children are particularly vulnerable to mercury pollution.

The menace of mercury

In 2011, EPA issued a set of rules, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, to dramatically cut mercury, heavy metals, acid gas and other emissions from power plants.

The standards, the result of over two decades of fighting to limit toxic pollutants from power plants, will save up to 11,000 lives a year and spur growth of home-grown technologies to control these harmful pollution.

Mercury is particularly harmful to children. Once in the bloodstream, it can damage a child’s developing nervous system, brain, heart, kidneys, lungs and immune system.

Every year about 400,000 additional children are affected.

Environmental allies, including EDF, have succeeded in defeating efforts by some in Congress, supported by polluters, to stop the new rules from ever being enforced.

In February 2012, these protections were attacked in court by the laggards of the utility industry, even while other leading companies step up to defend the rule.

So regulating this poison should be a very personal matter to anyone with kids, grandkids or simply a belief that children deserve a chance to grow up healthy.

Taking polluters to task

The Moms Clean Air Force is taking on the polluters and the politicians who do their bidding.

They’re using the Moms web site, as well as Facebook, Twitter and email, to alert parents and others when important votes come up in Congress or a state legislator introduces legislation favoring a dirty utility.

Julianne Moore on why she joined the Moms Clean Air Force.

And we’re enlisting star moms, like Julianne Moore and Blythe Danner, to help spread the word about the movement.

Our job, says Karen Francis, a Moms blogger who is a military spouse, is to “make noise and phone calls to our Congress people ’til they listen. You just gotta keep kicking people in the butt and make it hurt if that’s what is necessary.”

Mom power works

“I feel like it really comes down to protecting our kids and trying to give them clean air, clean water and a healthy place to grow up in,” says Katy Farber, a Vermont-based blogger and schoolteacher with two kids.

“These are things that know no political boundaries,” Farber adds. “I see the power of real parents getting together through blogging and social media to fight back.”

There's no more powerful force for children’s health than moms united.

Hats off to EDF for launching the Moms Clean Air Force.

Dr. Harvey Karp Pediatrician and author, The Happiest Toddler on the Block

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