EPA Ups the Ante

EPA Ups the Ante

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Sara Gutterman CEO Green Builder Media

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 2:30pm

CAMPAIGN: Ethical and Sustainable Living


Earlier this week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed rules to achieve a 30% reduction in carbon emissions from existing power plants by 2030 (compared to 2005 levels). The move was celebrated by some as the strongest step towards combating climate change that any administration has ever taken and a harbinger of change to come in our nation’s approach towards clean energy and sustainability.

Existing power plants are America’s single largest source of greenhouse gas pollution, producing approximately 40% of our climate emissions (coal is the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel, accounting for 40% of U.S. electricity generation and 74% of carbon emissions). Currently, there are no restrictions on the amount of pollution that existing plants can belch into our air. This veritable frenzy of unlimited emissions has resulted in polluted skies and a bevy of human health problems (studies show a direct link between pollution and respiratory, neurological, pulmonary, and cardiovascular ailments.)

The proposed guidelines will create a “rate-based” limit on greenhouse gas emissions based on each state’s current level of CO2 emissions per megawatt hour. To mitigate the costs borne by individual states, the proposal offers each state the flexibility to select an emissions reduction approach and policy options that work best for their localized economies.


CATEGORY: Environment