“Carbon pollution is responsible for so many of the health problems facing the world today. Capturing and storing carbon dioxide or methane is potentially dangerous to human health and could have disastrous consequences for all human and animal life should the pipelines or storage containers rupture, as occurred in 2020 in Yazoo County, Mississippi, when a cloud of CO2 overwhelmed a small rural town there after a carbon capture and storage pipeline ruptured. Preventing CO2 from entering the atmosphere by phasing out coal and gas-burning power plants is of much greater benefit, in terms of pollution and greenhouse gas reduction, and far more cost-effective than building the infrastructure necessary to capture and store carbon and assure that it is protected from extreme weather and earthquakes. There is no ‘beautiful, clean coal.’ It is filled with impurities, such as lead and mercury, that contribute to pollution and toxic disease. Particulate matter, as this summer’s wildfires have demonstrated, can travel hundreds of miles and affect health far from its source. The harm to children is immediate and long-term, both in terms of their health and the state of the planet we are leaving for them. Make the most of the allocated funds: transition to clean, non-polluting energy sources and decrease the production of CO2 and methane, minimizing the need to capture and store them. Our children deserve our best efforts to keep them and their environment as healthy as possible.”

Michael Ichinowski, MD, American Academy of Pediatrics, Maryland Chapter, Lutherville, Maryland