Obama administration aims to set carbon pollution standards for new power plants

March 27, 2012

By Environment Illinois

CHICAGO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed March 27 historic new limits on carbon pollution from new power plants.

Carbon pollution fuels global warming, which leads to poor air quality that triggers asthma attacks and other respiratory problems. Scientists also predict that global warming will lead to more devastating floods, more deadly heat waves and the spread of infectious diseases.

Coal-fired power plants are the largest single source of carbon pollution in the U.S., yet there are no federal limits on this pollution from power plants. The proposed Carbon Pollution Standard would correct that for new power plants by limiting emissions to more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide pollution for each megawatt of electricity produced.

Max Muller, Environment Illinois’ program director, issued the following statement in response to the announcement:

Today’s proposal from the Obama administration is an historic step in protecting Illinoisans’ health and our environment. By setting the first-ever standards for the largest source of the carbon pollution that fuels global warming, President Obama and EPA Administrator [Lisa P.] Jackson are putting our health above the demands of the polluter lobby.

Along with the steps being taken to cut other dangerous power plant pollutants such as soot, smog, mercury and other toxic pollutants and the new standards for fuel efficiency, these carbon pollution standards will mark historic progress in protecting our health, reducing waste and encouraging job creating innovation in the clean energy economy.

Illinoisans understand the value of clean air, and while the polluter lobby can be expected to trot out the same tired attacks and tactics, they won’t stop the progress and they will have to clean up their act.

Now that standards have been proposed, we look forward to demonstrating the strong public support for clean air and healthy families, and to making sure that the proposed standards are finalized later this year.

We also applaud Administrator Jackson for continuing to work with scientists, economists and public health officials on a process for addressing carbon pollution from existing power plants. The health and safety of current and future generations depends on us tackling this problem.”

Posted March 27, 2012

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