2015 HOD Action:
506, REDUCTION OF CARBON DIOXIDE POLLUTION FROM ENERGY PRODUCTION (AAPHP):
Replaced by the addition of underlined material to policies H-135.949 and D-135.972:
H-135.949 Support of Clean Air and Reduction in Power Plant Emissions Act:
Our AMA supports (1) federal legislation and regulations that meaningfully reduces the following four major power plant emissions: mercury, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide; and (2) efforts to limit carbon dioxide emissions through the reduction of the burning of coal in the nation’s power generating plants, efforts to improve the efficiency of power plants, substitution of natural gas in lieu of other carbon-based fossil fuels, and continued development of alternative renewable energy sources.
D-135.972 Support Reduction of Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Our AMA will (1) inform the President of the United States, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Congress that our American Medical Association supports the Administration’s efforts to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants to protect public health; and (2) working with state medical societies, encourage state governors to support and comply with EPA regulations designed to limit carbon dioxide emissions from coal fired power plants.
Submitted to American Medical Association House of Delegates:
Introduced by: American Association of Public Health Physicians
Subject: Reduction of Carbon dioxide pollution from Energy Production
Referred to: Reference Committee E
WHEREAS, The science in support of Global Warming and Climate Change as a result of human activity in the fields of transportation, energy production, fossil fuel based industrialization and other facets of our modern civilization is without significant challenge; and
WHEREAS, The added pollution from fossil fuel industrialization, nitrous oxides, sulfur oxides, mercury, carbon based particulates, carbon dioxide, and other products from the burning these fuels has been demonstrated to be major hazards to the health of populations living within the region of air pollution; and
WHEREAS, Other forms of pollution of natural waters and wetlands around power plants also result from the use of carbon based fossil fuels, and
WHEREAS, The Obama Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is preparing a series of regulations to limit carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s coal and oil fired power generating stations in an effort to modulate the impact of carbon dioxide on climate change, and reduce other air and water pollutants which impact the health of human populations, and
WHEREAS, American Medical Association policy is to reduce the risk of human disease, disability and death through improved environmental protection and the elimination of factors that cause disease;
THEREFORE, Be it
RESOLVED, That our AMA, inform the President of the United States, the Director of the EPA, and the Congess that we support the Administration’s current efforts to limit carbon dioxide pollution through the reduction of the burning of coal in the nations power generating plants, that we support the efforts to improve the efficiency of power plants, support the substitution of natural gas in lieu of other carbon based fossil fuels, and that the AMA supports the continued development of alternative renewable energy sources such as wind turbine power, solar photoelectric energy production, and other forms of non-polluting, non-carbon based energy generation; and be it further
RESOLVED, That our AMA, working in conjunction with state medical societies, will encourage state governors to support the EPA regulations designed to limit carbon dioxide emissions from coal fired power plants; and we encourage the governors' full compliance with the EPA regulations when promulgated.
Current AMA Policy:
H-135.938 Global Climate Change and Human Health
1. Supports the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fourth assessment report and concurs with the scientific consensus that the Earth is undergoing adverse global climate change and that anthropogenic contributions are significant. These climate changes will create conditions that affect public health, with disproportionate impacts on vulnerable populations, including children, the elderly, and the poor.
2. Supports educating the medical community on the potential adverse public health effects of global climate change and incorporating the health implications of climate change into the spectrum of medical education, including topics such as population displacement, heat waves and drought, flooding, infectious and vector-borne diseases, and potable water supplies.
3. (a) Recognizes the importance of physician involvement in policymaking at the state, national, and global level and supports efforts to search for novel, comprehensive, and economically sensitive approaches to mitigating climate change to protect the health of the public; and (b) recognizes that whatever the etiology of global climate change, policymakers should work to reduce human contributions to such changes.
4. Encourages physicians to assist in educating patients and the public on environmentally sustainable practices, and to serve as role models for promoting environmental sustainability.
5. Encourages physicians to work with local and state health departments to strengthen the public health infrastructure to ensure that the global health effects of climate change can be anticipated and responded to more efficiently, and that the AMA’s Center for Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Response assist in this effort.
6. Supports epidemiological, translational, clinical and basic science research necessary for evidence-based global climate change policy decisions related to health care and treatment. (CSAPH Rep. 3, I-08; Reaffirmation A-14)