The Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed a new federal rule to protect all Americans from power plant air pollution and to tackle climate change.

We already limit the amount of mercury, arsenic and lead from power plants.

However, there are no limits on the amount of carbon dioxide our nation’s 1,000-plus power plants are allowed to emit. Carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas driving climate change, contributes to smog, air pollution and a variety of illnesses.

The EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan is the single largest step the U.S. has proposed to combat climate change and should be enacted promptly. It will clean up our air and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Not only that, the EPA estimates these new rules will help avoid 150,000 asthma attacks and 6,600 deaths by 2030.

I want to thank both Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King for their statements in support of these common sense rules.

Regarding the power plant rules, Sen. King said, “These proposed rules are a significant step forward in protecting public health, combating climate change, and creating jobs in clean energy. This is an important investment in our children’s future which will pay big dividends for years to come.”

I appreciate this strong statement and Sen. King’s vocal leadership on climate change in Congress. Sen. Collins has said, “Climate change is certainly a significant challenge that requires global solutions in order to reduce greenhouse gas pollution worldwide.” I applaud her continuing support for Maine’s clean air and public health.

As a member state of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Maine is already in compliance with these proposed federal standards. I urge both Sens. Collins and King to support the EPA’s Clean Power Plan in Congress.

David Cobb

Portland