WASHINGTON, DC – Today the co-chairs of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change applauded newly proposed limits from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on carbon pollution from new power plants. The proposed rules would apply to coal and natural gas-fired power plants built in the future, and would help reduce the carbon pollution that is contributing to global climate change.
“Strong carbon pollution standards for new power plants are needed and welcome news for America’s clean energy future. For years we have had power plant standards that protect our communities from air pollutants like lead and mercury. Today, we are finally seeing similar standards for the carbon pollution that drives climate change, our biggest global threat,” said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD). “The standards just announced are important not only in the fight against climate change, but also in our push toward a cleaner, more technologically advanced energy economy. In Maryland, where we have some of the strictest air pollution standards in the country, we have seen our strong rules contribute to healthier communities and new jobs from a growing economy.”
“The EPA proposal is a double winner: pro-environment and pro-growth,” said Rep. Henry A. Waxman. “It sets achievable standards for new power plants that will spur innovation in clean coal technologies like carbon capture and sequestration. And the proposal will clean up the air and make the U.S. a world leader in advanced pollution-control technology. The Administration is on track in implementing the President’s Climate Action Plan.”
“For far too long, carbon pollution from power plants has gone unchecked” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). “These new standards from EPA will reduce the pollution that’s been wreaking havoc on our oceans, atmosphere, and health. They will also help limit the effects of climate change on future generations. The EPA is sending a strong message to polluting industries that it’s time for them to clean up their act.”
“The era of boundlessly polluting our skies with climate-altering pollution is nearing its end,” said Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA). “We know climate change is an existential threat that is changing our world for the worse. These standards respond to the moral duty we have to address climate change, and provide the clear economic incentives for power producers to clean up their act.”
“I am pleased that the President has moved forward with commonsense standards to protect our children and our environment,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). “Everyone with open eyes can see the damage that climate change is causing, increasing the severity of natural disasters, changing the face of the globe, and taking a devastating toll on human life. Extreme weather events have cost the federal government more than $62 billion in the last two years, and the trend is only increasing. Two-thirds of Americans support taking steps to fight climate change and move us towards a clean energy economy. The time for action is now.”
According to a recent report by Environment America, power plants account for nearly 41 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to today’s proposed limits on new plants, EPA is expected to announce limits next year for existing power plants.