Mayor Sylvester Turner is calling for the Environmental Protection Agency to hold a public hearing in Houston on the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration’s signature effort to reduce climate-altering pollution.
The EPA held its only hearing on the proposed repeal in West Virginia’s coal country last month. Turner said the agency should hear from Houstonians, especially after the devastating impacts of Hurricane Harvey.
Turner is a co-chair of the Climate Mayors, a group of more than 300 U.S. mayors who are working together to strengthen local campaigns for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and support efforts for binding federal and global policymaking.
In a letter to the EPA, Turner said Houston, as the largest city along the Gulf Coast, is especially concerned about climate change because of its vulnerability to flooding. Some 27 trillion gallons of rain fell on the Houston region during the storm. More than 80 people died, and floodwaters damaged about 120,000 Houston-area homes. The full extent of property damage costs has still yet to be fully determined.
Turner also said that Harvey’s fury was a prime example of a changing climate. Texas is seeing hotter temperatures, heavier downpours, frequent and longer heat waves and rising sea levels. Storms with the Harvey’s intensity will happen again, severely affecting the people, economy and general growth of large cities like Houston.
Air Alliance Houston agrees that we must act on the threat of climate change to be able to protect future generations. Our organization will continue to work to address and spread awareness about the harmful air pollutants affecting the lives of Houstonians today.