The Obama administration has presented a new, innovative proposal to protect public health from air pollution. The Clean Power Plan would reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants by up to 30 percent by the year 2030.

Coal-fired power plants are the single largest source of carbon pollution. Reducing pollution from smokestacks will slow the rate of climate change, improve lung health and lower health care costs related to poor air quality.

Those of us in the Northeast have known all along that the best way to combat the devastating effects of climate change is to work together.

The proposed national standards build on our successful Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative model, which has already dramatically reduced emissions from power plants and contributed to the development of new jobs and local renewable energy sources. I hope the national standards will be finalized swiftly, so as a nation we can reap similar benefits to those we have realized in our region.

I agree with the assessment by guest columnist Sherry Huber that Maine is fortunate to have Sen. Susan Collins as a strong ally in the fight against climate change (“Maine Voices: Collins shows her independence with votes to protect the environment,” May 28).Sen. Collins has always understood that our health, economic opportunities and quality of life all depend on clean and healthy air.

I encourage her to wholeheartedly support the Clean Power Plan. It’s a long-overdue proposal that balances the urgency of protecting the health of the American people with sensible emission standards that will undoubtedly benefit generations to come.

Rhonda Vosmus