The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed a rule to cut carbon pollution from existing U.S. power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. The rule, once enacted, has the potential to effect meaningful reductions in harmful greenhouse gases as the country transforms how it generates power.
“The EPA’s proposed carbon pollution standard is a necessary step in the fight against global warming and climate change,” said Cindy Dunn, PennFuture president and CEO. “Power plants account for 40 percent of the carbon pollution in the U.S. and many of those power plants are in Pennsylvania and neighboring states, fouling our air and damaging public health. The fossil fuel industry’s choke-hold on power generation in the U.S. has us choking on bad air.”
The new standard signals an opportunity for renewable energy and energy efficiency to play an important role in delivering cost-effective greenhouse gas reductions. “We applaud the administration’s ‘Clean Power Plan,'” said Christina Simeone, director of the PennFuture Energy Center. “EPA’s guidelines will give Pennsylvania numerous options to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Among other things, Pennsylvania’s renewable energy law (the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard) and electric utility efficiency law (Act 129) can play important roles in meeting the state’s carbon reduction requirements.”
“We are thrilled that President Obama is taking the leadership needed to move the country toward a sustainable future,” said Joy Bergey, federal policy director for PennFuture. “The announcement today is an historic turning point, indicating that the United States has accepted the moral imperative to act on climate. A clean energy economy means jobs for our future, and improved public health resulting from cleaner air will dramatically curb health care costs in this country. The President is looking to safeguard our children’s future, and we applaud him for this.”
PennFuture is a statewide public interest membership organization founded in 1998 with offices in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre. The organization’s activities include litigating cases before regulatory bodies and in local, state, and federal courts; advocating and advancing legislative action on a state and federal level; public education; and assisting citizens in public advocacy.