HHS Secretary Pitches Clean Power Plan to Kids, With Reference to 'Cooties'

By Penny Starr | August 14, 2015 | 11:21am EDT
The Obama administration is pitching its Clean Power Plan (anti-coal plan) with a blog posted on the Health and Human Services website.

( – "The only thing your kids should be afraid of catching in the backyard is cooties," says Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell.

That's one of the reasons why the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan is "good for our children’s health," Burwell blogged last week.

She explained that the rule finalized this month by the Environmental Protection Agency will "leave the planet safer and healthier for our children and our grandchildren" by cutting carbon pollution from coal-fired plants.

Burwell then listed five reasons why the 1,560-page rule will help future generations:

-- Because breathing outdoors shouldn't send kids to the hospital. (A reference to children with asthma.)

-- Because the outdoors should be for running, not runny noses. (She says climate change is lengthening the pollen/allery seasons.)

-- Because they will get enough smoke around campfires. (Burwell links increased frequency of wildfires to climate change.)

-- Because the only thing your kids should be afraid of catching in the backyard is cooties. (She warns that illnesses such as tick-borne Lyme disease will become more frequent "as increased carbon pollution warms our climate.")

-- Because you have enough to worry about without the threat of extreme weather events. ("A warming climate caused by carbon pollution could contribute to severe cold spells and heat waves that threaten the lives of countless children and their families living in poverty," Burwell wrote.)

The blog includes a graphic claiming that the Clean Power Plan will reduce premature deaths from power plant emissions by nearly 90% in 2013 and will “reduce the pollutants” that cause asthma attacks in children by 70% in 2030.

“The Clean Power Plan offers a future with a healthier economy, healthier environments and healthier childhoods,” Burwell wrote. “Together, we can bring our children a world that is a bit greener and a bit healthier.”

But critics, including Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), said the Clean Power Plan will reduce energy reliability, jobs, and economic growth.


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