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EPA Carbon Pollution Standards for New Power Plants Published for Public Comment

EPA and Power Plants

David Doniger, Policy Director, Climate and Clean Air Program, Washington, D.C.

The Environmental Protection Agency is taking another step forward Wednesday to carry out President Obama’s ambitious Climate Action Plan announced last June.  EPA’s proposed standards to limit dangerous carbon pollution from new power plants will be published here in the government’s official newspaper, the Federal Register, kicking off a 60-day period for public comment.  (An online version is already available here.)

Cutting carbon pollution from new power plants means that tomorrow’s electricity won’t come at the expense of our children’s future.

Power plants are the nation’s biggest source of the carbon pollution that is dangerously changing our climate – responsible for more than two billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year.  We have standards for bad pollutants like mercury and those that cause soot and smog, but there are still no federal limits on the carbon pollution that power plants belch out each year.

The proposed standards, unchanged from those announced on September 20th, will put the first federal limits on CO2 pollution from new power plants.  They’ll require any new coal-fired power plants to cut their CO2 pollution by using carbon capture and storage technology (CCS).  And they’ll put limits carbon pollution from new plants burning natural gas.  (You can find out more about those standards here and here.)

Now’s the time to raise your voice and be heard.  The official public comment period starts tomorrow and runs until early March.  Take action here to tell EPA you want strong standards to cut dangerous carbon pollution from all our power plants. 

We need standards to cut the carbon pollution spewing from the nation’s existing power plants too.  EPA is on track to meet President Obama’s deadline to propose those standards this coming June.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has reached out to the states, the power industry, and the public for their best ideas on how to cut existing plants’ carbon pollution as effectively and flexibly as possible.  Hundreds of citizens concerned about climate change spoke up at nearly a dozen public hearings held last fall all across the country.

EPA is doing its job under the Clean Air Act to start protecting our kids and our grandkids from the dangerous climate change.

But now is no time to be complacent.  Big Coal, Tea Party extremists, and their big money backers are throwing everything they can at EPA to try to block even these first steps.  They’ve tried – and so far they’ve failed – to block EPA in the courts or get Congress to rip up the Clean Air Act. 

So now EPA needs to hear your voice.  Take action here to tell EPA you care about our future, and you want strong standards to protect our kids and grandkids from a world turned upside down by climate-changing pollution.

Millions of Americans have already raised their voices in support of carbon pollution standards for both new and existing plants. Click here to add your voice in favor of these new standards.

Photo Credit: EPA and Power Plants/shutterstock

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