Despite the historically warm winters, killer heat waves and droughts, and 100-year storms that have swept this country in recent years, there are still no limits on the amount of carbon pollution that power plants are allowed to spew into the air. Coal-fired power plants are the largest single source of carbon pollution in the US.
President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency has finally proposed a rule to change this. These new carbon pollution limits are critical to stopping climate change. Unfortunately, to be as effective as possible, this rule needs to be strengthened significantly.
EPA's first ever rule limiting carbon pollution -- known as the Carbon Pollution Standard -- applies only to unlikely-to-be-built, new coal-fired power plants. It is riddled with loopholes allowing new sources of pollution and does nothing to reduce carbon pollution from existing sources.
EPA is now accepting public comments on the rule. As they weigh public reaction, we need to show EPA that we want them to close the loopholes, finalize this rule, and get to work on existing sources of carbon pollution.
Tell the EPA: We need strong legal limits to protect us from existing and future sources of carbon pollution.
Reducing greenhouse gas pollution from power plants to mitigate the disastrous impacts of climate change is one of the most urgent matters before the EPA.
The proposed new source rule for greenhouse gas pollution is critically important. Unfortunately, the rule also needs to be strengthened, as it falls short in several ways:
1) It contains massive loopholes: there are no pollution limits for burning biomass, which can spew as much or more carbon as coal; polluters have a full year to start building plants that will forever be exempt from pollution limits; and EPA will allow new plants to pollute freely for ten years if they invest in mythical ‘carbon capture and storage’ (CCS) technology, which would cost time and money we need for renewables and efficiency. CCS actually would require burning more coal – which means more coal ash and more destructive mining.
2) The carbon pollution limit for new power plants - 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt hour of energy produced -- is low enough to limit new coal fired power plants, but high enough not to affect natural gas plants.
Don't bow to pressure from climate change-denying extremists or fossil fuel propagandists who are willing to threaten our future survival for profit. I urge you to strengthen the new source carbon pollution standard and immediately implement a strong rule to limit carbon pollution from existing sources.
No matter how extreme and anti-science the political climate, nothing less than bold action is required to fight climate change, one of the most urgent challenges facing us as a nation and a planet. EPA should close the loopholes, finalize this rule, and get to work on existing sources of carbon pollution.
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