Valley Campaign: http://cleanervalleycampaign.org
Valley Fact Sheet
More than 24,000 people live within a mile of We Energies’ dirty
coal plant in the Menomonee Valley in Milwaukee. When air pollution is
high, our friends and neighbors suffer more frequent, more severe, and
more deadly asthma attacks, heart attacks, and strokes. In fact, the
American Lung Association gave Milwaukee an “F” for the number
of unhealthy air days in 2006-’08, making it clear that the plant’s
pollution is a health risk.
We have a rare opportunity
to weigh in on pollution coming from the plant as the DNR prepares
the plant’s federal air permit. The DNR
is currently preparing the federal air permit for the Valley Coal Plant
in the Menomonee Valley, the dirtiest plant operated by We Energies.
The plant lacks modern pollution controls and is a significant source
of soot and smog. This comes at a time when Milwaukee and its surrounding
counties currently violate health standards for soot and smog, two of
the biggest pollution hazards for public health. Read more, click
Social Justice Implications of Climate
The threat of climate change is significant because its potential affects
are catastrophic; from the migration and mutation of diseases to severe
weather patterns, we face an unimaginably vast threat. For Americans
of faith, climate change is a social justice issue; IPCC Working Group
argues the poor and disenfranchised will suffer disproportionately from
the effects of climate change.. Indeed, if some climate models are correct,
rises in global mean temperatures, the accelerated rate of extinctions
of certain species, and many of the droughts, famines, and plagues now
affecting the poorer nations of the world are signals that climate change
is already underway.
Climate change also demands an ethical response in that its causes are
systemic and related to many other woes. Modern societies, in their combustion
of fossil fuels, not only release carbon dioxide, the most common of
the “green house gases,” but a host of other toxins including
nitrogen-oxides, mercury, sulfur-dioxide and particulate matter. Publications
by the American Lung Association, Center for Disease Control, Union of
Concerned Scientists, and the Environmental Protection Agency point to
research showing that a number of respiratory illnesses, some fatal and
many primarily affecting children, are caused by industrial pollutants.
It would seem that our political and economic systems, our very lifestyles,
are severely threatening the health and well-being of local populations
as well as the global environment.