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Harnessing the power of Mom

MLCV’s Clean Air Force pair works for strong public health standards
As clean air standards are debated in Congress this year, a Michigan environmental group has hired two dynamic residents to help ensure our children will be guaranteed clean and safe air.

The Michigan League of Conservation Voters has teamed up with Moms Clean Air Force, a nationwide network of activists and bloggers working to protect our air. They have hired two advocates to rally support in Michigan. Starla McDermott is working in West Michigan, and Wibke “Vee” Heymach in Southeast Michigan.

McDermott and Heymach are dedicating themselves to organizing moms and caregivers around the state to garner local support for energy emissions standards, as well as raise awareness of the toxins spewing from coal plants around the state. “Moms have passion and power—an unbeatable combination,” said Lisa Wozniak, executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, an MEC member group.

“Moms are joining together to come out in strength for our kids’ right to clean air just as our parents fought for us 40 years ago to get the Clean Air Act signed into law by President Richard Nixon.”

A major area of concern for Moms Clean Air Force are the recent attacks on the EPA’s new mercury and air toxic standards, which ensure the Great Lakes are protected from harmful mercury contamination. The standards require the fossil fuel industry to cut emissions of some of the most harmful air toxins, such as arsenic and formaldehyde.

While Washington fights over the protection of our air, Michigan’s new Moms Clean Air Force will be organizing at the grassroots level to let moms know the science behind these standards, as well as that any attack on them only increases the likelihood that our children’s lung and cardiovascular health will be poorer than our own.

The stakes are very high when clean air laws are on the floor of any legislative chamber. Thanks to the dedicated work of McDermott and Heymach, Michigan residents have another line of defense against those who would roll back the important health and pollution standards that have made a difference.

—By Marco Salomone, MEC
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