Statement on the Administration’s Decision to Discontinue the Clean Power Plan

The Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health (Consortium) issued the following statement in response to the announcement by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt that the EPA is terminating the Clean Power Plan.

This statement can be attributed to Mona Sarfaty, MD, MPH, FAAFP, Director of the Consortium. Interviews with leading physicians of Consortium medical societies or Dr. Sarfaty are available upon request.

A decision to terminate the Clean Power Plan is a choice that puts American lives at greater risk from unhealthy air and the health harms from climate change.

While many regard the Clean Power Plan primarily as an effort to reduce climate change, doctors know it’s also about the health of our patients. An EPA analysis of the Clean Power Plan found it to be an important tool to clean our air that would prevent 3,600 premature deaths, 1,700 heart attacks and 90,000 asthma attacks per year.

Through the Medical Society Consortium, more than half the nation’s doctors have come together to help the public understand that combating climate change will improve the health of Americans now and into the future. The Clean Power Plan is a vital tool in reducing these health threats by cutting the heat-trapping pollution that drives climate change.

Specifically, climate change is directly harming our health through reduced air quality, severe heat waves, extreme storms and rainfall, the spread of disease carried by mosquitoes and ticks, and flooding due to rising sea levels.

These health harms from climate change affect all Americans, but those most at risk are children, pregnant women, those who work outdoors, people with chronic heart, lung, or mental health conditions, the elderly and people with limited financial resources.

Doctors across the nation recognize that the most important action we can take to protect our health is to reduce heat-trapping pollution and accelerate the transition to clean renewable energy.

The decision to terminate the Clean Power Plan cuts against the EPA’s core purpose and mission of protecting human health and the environment. Instead of pulling back from efforts to reduce climate change, we must double down on them.


About the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health:

The mission of the Consortium is to inform the public and policymakers about the harmful health effects of climate change on Americans, and about the immediate and long-term health benefits associated with decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and other preventive and protective measures. This mission is reflected in the Consortium’s Consensus Statement and in the attached report “Medical Alert! Climate Change is Harming Our Health.”

This statement is released on behalf of the following members of the Consortium:

  • The American College of Physicians
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics
  • The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • The American Medical Association
  • The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology
  • The American College of Preventive Medicine
  • The American Geriatrics Society
  • The Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine
  • The American Association of Community Psychiatrists
  • The American Telemedicine Association
  • The National Medical Association
  • The Society of General Internal Medicine
  • American Medical Women’s Association
  • American College of Emergency Physicians, CA Chapter
  • American Podiatric Medical Association
  • Society for Gynecologic Oncology