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I ‘heart’ clean air: Nevada families declare their love for clean air



LAS VEGAS –  Members of Congress received more than roses and chocolates this Valentine’s Day.  Las Vegas moms and their kids crafted Valentine’s messages for Sen. Dean Heller, asking him to protect clean air, and thanking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for his strong support for clean air protections.

“If you love your kids, you’ve got to love clean air,” said Yvonne Kaeder, a mother from Las Vegas who helped her children, Ellianna, age 8, and Madden, 6, make Valentine’s Day cards for the senators.

Congress is currently considering several legislative proposals that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from protecting the public health with new clean air standards for toxic substances like mercury, arsenic, soot, smog, carbon and other pollutants.  The new standards would save thousands of lives each year.

Nevada Conservation League Executive Director Scot Rutledge noted that Heller has often supported the interests of polluters over those of Nevada’s citizens.

“This is our way of reminding the junior Senator from Nevada that our families need him to stand up for clean air,” Rutledge said. “And at the same time, we have to acknowledge the critical work done by Senator Reid in Congress to protect the EPA and clean-air laws.”

The mercury and air toxics rule would save as many as 11,000 lives, prevent as many as 130,000 asthma attacks among children and prevent as many as 4,700 heart attacks each year, according to the EPA.  The Cross State Air Pollution rule would save as many as 34,000 lives, prevent as many as 15,000 heart attacks and prevent as many as 400,000 asthma attacks by reducing dangerous air pollution in communities downwind and often in other states from dirty power plants. The new standards for car emissions will reduce industrial carbon pollution that threatens thousands of lives and will spur innovation that will improve automobile mileage and create jobs in the auto industry.

“We want Washington to put public health first and to not do the bidding of the polluters and their lobbyists,” Rutledge said. “The polluters want to dump unlimited amounts of industrial carbon pollution into the air and to continue to contaminate our air with mercury. We’d prefer they protect the air our children breathe.”

Some of the Valentine’s Day cards delivered on Valentine’s Day came from students at the Las Vegas East Career and Technical Academy.

“We are learning a lot about the impact that pollution has on our health,” said Sara Meraz, an East Tech senior. “We can put that learning to work by supporting Clean Air laws and protecting our environment.”

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