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Media: N.C. Mother of Three Children with Asthma Behind Pres. Obama During Today’s Clean Power Plan Announcement

Media: N.C. Mother of Three Children with Asthma Behind Pres. Obama During Today’s Clean Power Plan Announcement

Rockingham Update
Rockingham, NC
August 3, 2015

Mothers & Others for Clean Air was excited to see volunteer and supporter Laura Kellogg stand behind President Barack Obama as he announced the Clean Power Plan today at 2:15.  “We are extremely proud of Laura as she stands up for her family and for many families across the nation making known the importance clean air has for our health,” said Alison Lawrence Jones, project manager for North Carolina.

Kellogg, a mother of three children with asthma also appears in the video released by the Environmental Protection Agency: Kellogg relocated her family to Wilmington, N.C. from Massachusetts on the advice of her physician after medical treatment for her children was not doing much to help them breathe. “As a parent, as you can imagine, it’s really heartbreaking when you see your children struggling to breathe everyday,” Kellogg says. “And when you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.”

Moving to a location with cleaner air was a solution to help her children thrive. Now, they are regularly engaged in a variety of outdoor activities and sports and her oldest son even plays the saxophone.

Their visits to the pediatric pulmonologist at Duke University Medical Center have been more positive, and they do not want to see climate change and air pollution negate the gains they have made. “I definitely feel that climate change is a social justice issue,” Kellogg says. “We were fortunate that we could pick up and relocate, but there are a lot of families that do not have that option. And those children, the elderly, the poor—those most impacted by climate change—are stuck. They’re stuck breathing dirty air.”

The Clean Power Plan reduces carbon pollution from power plants and also reduces soot and smog bringing major health benefits for American families. By 2030, this means up to 3,600 fewer premature deaths; 90,000 fewer asthma attacks in children; 1,700 fewer hospital admissions; and 300,000 fewer missed days of school and work. In 2013, 57 metric tons of carbon pollution were emitted from power plants in North Carolina alone; that’s equal to the yearly emissions of almost 12 million cars.

N.C. is already making progress towards meeting the goals set by the Clean Power Plan. The mayors of 43 N.C. cities have joined the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement committing to reducing greenhouse gases in their communities, and in 2014 the state was home to 6,600 jobs in the solar and wind power industries.