Authors: Ahmina Maxey
The Obama administration has made two major decisions recently which will greatly benefit my community of Detroit, Michigan. The Administration's decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, and their issuance of new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) for power plants will improve the health and environment of Detroiters. Southwest Detroit is home to over a dozen industries that are amongst the state of Michigan’s top air polluters. The result of this air pollution is staggering with asthma death rates in Detroit being twice that of the state average. Twice! Every time I utter this statistic it turns my stomach to know that we suffer this environmental injustice at the hands of big business. However, it is decisions like rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline and curtailing pollution from coal plants made recently by the Obama administration that give me hope.
New national standards limiting mercury and air toxics pollution will ensure that the DTE coal-fired power plant in Detroit will clean up its act. Tar sands that would have been transported through the Keystone XL pipeline and processed at Detroit’s Marathon Oil refinery are no longer a reality. These decisions are saving countless lives in Detroit, as thousands of us will see improvements in air quality. Thank you, President Obama.