Frances Beinecke, President of NRDC, New York City
2014 has kicked off with welcome progress in the fight against climate change. On Wednesday, the Obama Administration published limits on carbon pollution from new power plants. This step confirms the President’s National Climate Action plan is on track to deliver real and lasting climate solutions in 2014.
Reducing carbon pollution from power plants is the single most important thing we can do to confront climate change. Power plants account for 40 percent of U.S. global warming pollution. These plants are required to curb their mercury, arsenic, and soot. Yet astonishingly, there are no national limits on how much of carbon pollution power plants can dump into our atmosphere. That is wrong, and it needs to be fixed.
NRDC and our allies have made tackling climate change our top priority for this administration and we have worked hard to unleash real climate action. The standards published on Wednesday will get America moving in the right direction. They will prevent future power plants from pumping unlimited carbon pollution into the air, and they will help usher in a cleaner, more modern energy fleet.
Americans support this shift into the 21st century. When the Environmental Protection Agency first released draft standards for new power plants, people sent more than 3 million messages in favor—the most ever received in the agency’s history. The publication of the latest draft standards launches another comment period and another opportunity to show public support for climate action.
But even as we champion carbon limits for new power plant, we must also call for carbon limits on existing power plants. As part of his National Climate Action plan, President Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency to issue standards for the power plants that are dumping carbon pollution into our air right now. The President is committed to proposing the standards in June, and the EPA is drafting them right now. But dirty industries are pushing back—calling for weak standards or no carbon limits at all.
We can’t let polluters foul our skies. We have an obligation to protect future generations from the dangers of climate change, and so we must demand clean power and strong carbon limits. Click here to make your voices heard.