EPA Gets Earful of Citizen Input On Power Plant Regulations, As 12 States Go to Court

After receiving earfuls at Congressional hearings from Republicans, the EPA is listening to the public this week in four, two-day sessions across the US.

The subject is EPA’s Clean Power plan – rules that will rein in emissions from power plants – the single, largest source of carbon pollution in the US. The extremely flexible regulations would cut emissions 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, while encouraging renewable energy growth and green buildings.

Hearings are being held in Washington DC, Atlanta, Pittsburg and Denver. So far, about 300,000 – mostly supportive – comments have been submitted and EPA expects to listen to about 1600 people in person at the "sold out" meetings. Comments via email, fax and letter are accepted until October 16.

Groups for and against the regulations are loudly present. Ben & Jerry’s is scooping free ice cream from "mobile action trucks" that encourage people to take action. 

Members of Sierra Club, NRDC, National Wildlife Federation and other environmental groups are there by the thousands to support the regulations. They are making sure a diversity of voices are heard including physicians talking about health repercussions of climate change; farmers talking about the problems they face; and governors and mayors talking about the investments regulations will bring.

They are asking for more ambitious regulations. One commenter, retired power plant employee William Cozzens, called the 30% target "soft", reports The Hill. "If 2030 is the target date, I believe we should target a 70-80%." 

"I’m very sick and tired of everyone saying, ‘No, it can’t be done,’" said another commenter, Ronald Schlesinger. "It’s about time everyone gets to the idea of, ‘At least let’s try.’ We have 16 years to get there and I don’t understand at all why power plant companies are fighting it so hard."

On the right-wing side, people organized by the US Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity and others will speak at the hearings and attend protests that coincide with each one.  

ALEC is working behind closed doors at this week’s annual meeting, where "legislators will be schooled on how industry wants them to talk about climate change," Nick Surgey, research director for the Center For Media and Democracy’s PR Watch, told ThinkProgress. ALEC will focus heavily on derailing EPA regulations this year, buoyed by ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, and BP lobbyists who will craft a model bill for state opposition, he says.

"ALEC has been campaigning on this issue all year, encouraging its legislator members to push their state attorneys general to sue the EPA to block the proposed rules," Surgey told ThinkProgress.

War on Coal

As would be expected, most Democrats are praising EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, while Republicans lambast her and the plan – which gives states control over how they control emissions. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) accused her of "trying to run America" in addition to the typical war on coal comments and "the rules will bring the economy to its knees." 

They are trying to severely cut EPA’s budget and block funding to implement the rules.

Fact: There are many more solar jobs in the US than coal jobs. Even in West Virginia, coal provides 3% of all jobs and supports less than 6% of incomes. 

Coal Emissions

McCarthy’s response: "We are setting a course on climate change that is long term and flexible; we are sending a tremendous investment signal. This is not about a scrubber at the end of a smokestack; it is about investing in things that we care about." 

It’s already having a positive impact on international relations, she says, "changing the tone" of conversations with global leaders. Without US leadership, a global treaty won’t happen.

"We have already seen a different tone in diplomatic talks the State Department is having," McCarthy told reporters, referring to Secretary of State John Kerry’s climate push with countries such as China and India, reports The Hill

Ready for Court Battle

12 states and coal company Murray Energy are going to court to stop the plan: West Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, Ohio, Indiana, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming and South Dakota.

Calling it an "extraordinary exertion of EPA’s authority, they will argue that if EPA already regulates power plants under the Clean Air Act (for other pollutants), it can’t double-regulate under a new section of it. 

A coalition of polluting industries formed The Partnership for a Better Energy Future to prevent the spread of regulations to other industries.

In the latest of a series of Supreme Court challenges – which EPA has won each time – in June, it ruled again that it has the right to regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act.

Many Benefits of Clean Power Plan

Because of the flexibility of EPA’s rules, which allow states to decide the best way to meet caps, it’s biggest impact beyond reducing emissions could be in accelerating innovation in clean energy and green building. 

Non-hydro renewables could grow 67% because of the law – to 21,000 gigawatts by 2030, conservatively – while coal generation declines 20%.

And reports show it won’t be expensive and some of the reddest states will benefit the most because it encourages use of natural gas as a substitute for coal.

While opponents scream about sky-high electricity costs, they could add $7 to the cost of a US-made car, in contrast to $1.25 million for every hour of lost production (at just one factory) during extreme weather events, according to Business Forward’s report, Severe Weather And Manufacturing In America: Comparing The Cost of Droughts, Storms, And Extreme Temperatures With the Cost of New EPA Standards.

Indeed, every objective analysis shows that states can well handle the regulations and many are moving in that direction anyway.

Please comment here:

Website: [sorry this link is no longer available]     
(Visited 9,533 times, 5 visits today)

Comments on “EPA Gets Earful of Citizen Input On Power Plant Regulations, As 12 States Go to Court”

  1. ky skeez

    In California, carbon emissions from power plants account for 40% of toxic emissions adding to global climate change. We are all connected–by the sky we share, by oceans that know no boundaries, and by consciousness. Why not be better stewards of our earth, an earth that has given us such bountiful resources?

  2. sdf

    In 2002, http://www.toms-shoesoutlet.com Elias signed to the RCA Music Group/Bluebird coach factory outlet online label and ray ban outlet released Kissed toms shoes by coach outlet Nature, http://www.coach-purseonsale.com an album nike shoes outlet consisting cheap supra shoes of mostly original nike huarache compositions. Dreamer, mcm outlet online her second recording for nike outlet the label (released in ugg outlet online 2004), was http://www.oakley-outletonline.us.com a http://www.mcmsworldwide.com fresh michael kors mix of tunes from the coach outlet American Songbook, burberry outlet online Brazilian ray ban Bossa nike outlet Novas, and two new gucci handbags outlet originals, all sung air huarache in English huaraches and coach factory outlet online Portuguese ugg black friday sale 2015 and coach outlet online supported coach factory black friday by toms outlet online a full orchestra. ralph lauren polos Dreamer ugg boots on sale received the Gold Disc Award and was http://www.cheaprayban.in.net voted Best Vocal Album ralph lauren outlet online in michael kors Japan cheap coach purses in ugg outlet 2004. mcm outlet It reached longchamp outlet No. 3 on the pop charts in France and No. 4 on the mcm handbags outlet Billboard charts oakley outlet in the ralph lauren outlet online U.S. Elias’ michael kors handbags outlet Around michael kors outlet the coach bags outlet City, coach factory outlet released coach outlet online on RCA Victor ugg boots outlet clearance in supra shoes August ralph lauren outlet 2006, merges bits of air max shoes outlet Bossa chanel outlet online Nova, mcm bags with mcm backpack outlet shades of ugg boots outlet online pop, mcm backpack outlet jazz, nike shoes Latin burberry outlet online and even rock & coach outlet roll. Around coach outlet online the City ugg outlet features Elias’ vocals and mcm bags songwriting in coach outlet online collaborations with coach outlet online producers Andres Levin and burberry outlet Lester Mendez, as well coach factory outlet online as fresh http://www.toms-outletonline.com takes michael kors outlet on oakley outlet pop nike air max classics such UGG Australia as Tito oakley outlet online Puente’s “Oye ralph lauren polos Como Va” oakley sunglasses and Bob Marley’s “Jammin.”Elias returned oakley outlet online to burberry handbags Blue Note/ air max EMI air max in 2007 with Something for You, oakley sungalsses a tribute to coach purses outlet online the music of the late ugg boots outlet great Bill air max black friday Evans. While touching the essence of the pianist/composer, http://www.burberry-outlet2015.net she also michael kors outlet brings her toms outlet own ugg black friday unique michael kors outlet online gifts to ugg boots< /STRONG> the ray-ban sunglasses surface, as a ugg boots composer, interpreter, outstanding instrumentalist and coach black friday beguiling vocalist. This release won Best Vocal Album cheap ray ban of the Year and UGG Australia the Gold Disc burberry outlet Award in Japan. This uggs boots on sale is also the third http://www.cheapmichaelkors.in.net consecutive toms outlet recording of coach outlet Elias to coach factory outlet online receive cheap ugg boots these coach outlet online awards and michael kors canada her cheap michael kors fourth burberry outlet overall. black friday Something supra shoes outlet for You reached No. 1 on ugg boots the U.S. longchamp Jazz ugg boots clearance Radio charts, uggs on sale No. cheap ugg outlet 8 on Billboard and north face outlet No. mcm handbags 2 on the ugg boots sale French jazz charts.2008 cheap ugg boots marked the fiftieth michael kors outlet anniversary of michael kors outlet online the birth of Bossa nike air max Nova. In celebration burberry handbags outlet of this michael kors black friday event, Elias recorded michael kors outlet Bossa Nova burberry outlet Stories, featuring some of toms shoes the landmark songs coach black friday of north face outlet Brazil with American longchamp outlet online classic ralph lauren outlet and pop coach purses outlet standards, exquisitely burberry outlet online performed as only burberry outlet online she can, toms shoes outlet with nike outlet lush romantic vocals burberry handbags outlet and michael kors exciting burberry playing accompanied coach factory by monster beats outlet a stellar ugg boots clearance rhythm section ugg australia and ugg boots sale strings coach handbags outlet recorded at Abbey Road Studios in cheap ugg boots outlet London.


Post Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *