Policy Update

NCEL Members Call on EPA to Maintain Strong Industrial Pollution Standards

Region

Federal

NCEL Point of Contact

Clara Summers
Climate and Energy Manager

Contact

Dear Administrator Jackson:

America’s dependence on fossil fuels puts our economy, environment and health at risk. The introduction of new industrial carbon pollution standards which will limit the pounds of carbon dioxide coming from new electric generating units is an important first step towards reducing fossil fuel usage.

We believe that the new standards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are essential to protect public health, spur innovation in clean technologies that will create jobs, and reduce the effects of air pollution that worsens smog and triggers asthma attacks and other health consequences.

Reducing the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels is an important objective that these standards will help to achieve. It is critical that the consumer and environmental benefits of these standards are maximized by rejecting efforts throughout the rulemaking process to raise the maximum amount of CO2 allowed above 1000 pounds per megawatt hour of electricity.

These new standards are an important step towards protecting public health. Today, 154 million Americans already suffer air pollution levels that are deemed dangerous by health organizations. Scientists warn that unchecked carbon pollution is creating conditions, including warmer temperatures, which increase the risk of unhealthful ozone levels in the air we breathe.

Just as importantly, these new standards provide a clear timetable for the industry to prepare and plan on how to meet the standard while considering future electric generation. They are not a threat to any existing, or in the pipeline, facilities. This will allow approximately 15 proposed coal-fired power plants that have already received pre construction Clean Air Act permits to move forward. The proposed rule has taken a balanced approach in dealing with these plants by allowing them to not meet the rule as long as construction begins with one year.

For more than 40 years, the Clean Air Act has protected America’s health and with improvements based on new science it can do so for generations to come. These new standards are a necessary tool for EPA to meet its obligation under the Clean Air Act. As state legislators, on behalf of our constituents we urge the EPA to ensure the standards as strong as possible throughout the rulemaking process.