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Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas is visited by more than 300,000 hikers, birdwatchers and tourists annually, but the park's beautiful views are increasingly threatened by air pollution from dirty coal plants and oil refineries.

The Clean Air Act requires the State of Texas and the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce this pollution and clear the air. But EPA's proposed plan for doing so falls far short of what is necessary, allowing the oldest and dirtiest coal plants to continue operating without modern pollution controls that are commonly used in other states.

The EPA is currently accepting public comments on its weak regional haze plan for Texas -- and it needs to know that you value beautiful national parks and expect the agency to do more to clear the air at Big Bend and throughout the state.

Tell the Environmental Protection Agency: Protect Texas' national parks and residents from dirty air pollution.

Unfortunately, it isn't just national parks in Texas that are suffering the consequences of the state's coal pollution problem.

Soot and haze pollution from coal plants also causes significant damage to our health - including breathing problems, throat irritation and even premature death.

But EPA's plan doesn't go nearly far enough to protect Texans' health. Even allowing coal plant owners to continue polluting Texas' air if they purchase emission allowances from states as far away as South Carolina and Minnesota. Needless to say, this wouldn't do anything to improve air quality in Texas.

The plan EPA recently proposed would effectively let Texas utilities off the hook, rather than holding them accountable for their dirty and dangerous air pollution. We can't allow that to happen -- and a strong outpouring of public comments will make it more likely that the EPA strengthens the plan before it is finalized.

Tell the Environmental Protection Agency: Protect Texas' national parks and residents from dirty air pollution.

Letter to
Environmental Protection Agency
I urge the EPA to strengthen its proposal for Texas regional haze, Docket # EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0729. I care about our iconic open spaces like Big Bend and the Guadalupe Mountains and want them protected from haze pollution, which both obscures the spectacular views but also makes the air unsafe to breathe. Please strengthen your proposal and do more to hold Texas' major polluters accountable and improve air quality in Texas.

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