Indian Point Is A Giant Asthma Inhaler for New York City Asthmatics
With the planned closure of Indian Point – New York City’s largest clean energy provider – our region’s air quality will suffer. For over 40 years, Indian Point has been the backbone of New York’s electricity grid, providing 25% of the City’s electricity. And this power is nearly emission-free. During that time the City’s air quality has dramatically improved.
A 2011 study, commissioned by the City of New York, found that the City and State of New York will both see approximately a 15% increase in carbon emissions under all the reasonable power replacement scenarios, all of which unfortunately call for fossil-fuel generation. Nitrogen oxide pollution will rise 7 percent.
The bottom line is that without Indian Point, New Yorkers will rely more heavily on fossil fuels, increasing risks to respiratory health and associated ailments such as asthma, which significantly impact children and the elderly. Fortunately, the City will have Indian Point fully operating until 2021, but this serious public health issue has yet to be addressed.
About the author
Norris McDonald is president of the African American Environmentalist Association (AAEA). Founded in 1985, the AAEA is the nation’s oldest African American-led environmental organization. The AAEA is dedicated to protecting the environment, enhancing human, animal and plant ecologies, promoting the efficient use of natural resources, promoting African American ownership of energy resources and infrastructure and increasing participation in the environmental movement.