When it comes to choosing sides where do you usually land? Do you go with protecting the environment or protecting jobs? Well, what if you could choose one and then that could lead to the other? Those who choose to protect the environment in Cleveland, will in turn choose to protect jobs. Environmental regulations are necessary to save lives as well as jobs.

The loose reins our government holds on environmental regulations are costing them money in healthcare and jobs. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there are 50,000 premature deaths in the United States every year due to air pollution. Air pollution based illnesses costs the government about $150 billion every year, while asthma alone is costing the U.S. $56 billion annually. With the growth of our city and country, we can only estimate these numbers to keep rising, unless we do something to stop this pollution from occurring.

Our future depends on the environment as much as it depends on our jobs, so we need to make sure we do everything we can to protect both. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to cut carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants by 30%. This regulation will cut down on the pollution that leads to smog and soot, and it will be reduced by 25% by the year 2030. Unfortunately, many people are opposing this regulation because they think it will reduce the amount of jobs, but that is not the case.

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Cleveland recently completed a Climate Action Plan, detailing the health issues that are a direct result of climate change and pollution. The plan recognizes that residents are more prone to heat-related stress and vector-borne illnesses such as West Nile due to climate change. A changing climate also impacts the city’s natural water resources.

Throughout the state of Ohio, government officials have decided to turn their backs on alternative energy based resources, greener technology and cleaner air. Since there is no one monitoring these issues, major corporations have no motivation to protect the environment. It is now time for our officials to wake up and enforce clean energy efficiency among our Cleveland based industries.

If you want Cleveland, Ohio to be an environmentally safe place to live, we need to make our government officials aware of this pollution and the inevitable health issues it brings. The first step in making Cleveland an up and coming destination for job seekers is to protect the future generations of the city. With protection from air pollution, water contamination, and the effects of greenhouse gases, Cleveland can be both environmentally friendly and economically prosperous.