Obama’s climate plan: Kinzinger, Environment Illinois respond

Online Staff Report

President Barack Obama announced a climate plan June 25 that will set limits on carbon pollution from power plants, advance energy efficiency and increase the nation’s commitment to renewable energy.

Following is a response issued by U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., who is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee:

At a time when more than 12 million Americans are still out of work and vast energy resources remain untapped right under our feet, President Obama has decided to pursue more onerous regulations on the energy industry. The president’s proposals will not only cost thousands of jobs, but will also raise electricity prices for every American at a time when millions are struggling just to make ends meet. I support an all-of-the-above energy approach that includes swift approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, and I urge President Obama to do the same.”

A press release from Kinzinger’s office added the following:

Background: The planned standards relating to power plants announced by the president are in addition to a suite of other EPA power plant rules that are estimated to have already contributed to the announced shutdown of approximately 41,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity in 32 states. The new standards are also in addition to over 3,000 pages of new EPA greenhouse gas-related rules issued or proposed by the agency since 2009, including over 80 rules addressing greenhouse gas reporting, emissions standards for cars and trucks, and the phasing-in of preconstruction and operating permitting requirements across the economy.

For power plants, the Obama administration announced two settlements in December 2010 that committed the agency to propose and finalize greenhouse gas standards for both new and existing power plants and refineries by 2012. While EPA delayed these efforts and to date has proposed standards only for new power plants, those proposed standards would effectively ban any new coal plant in the United States by requiring installation of carbon capture and storage technologies that are not commercially available and that EPA estimates would increase the cost of coal-fired electricity generation by up to 80 percent.”

Environment Illinois — a non-profit, non-partisan, citizen-funded environmental advocacy group working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future in Illinois — issued the following release in response to the president’s climate plan:

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, record drought in many states, wildfires in Colorado, and severe storms here in Illinois, the president’s plan to address global warming was loudly applauded by Environment Illinois and many others.

“‘Today, President Obama responded to the millions of Americans who have spoken out on behalf of their communities and their families, urging him to lead on climate,’ said Ember McCoy, field associate with Environment Illinois. “All of us who have felt the effects of global warming, or simply worried about what’s in store for our kids, can take comfort in knowing that President Obama has put the nation on a path toward a cleaner, healthier and safer future.’

Left unchecked, global warming is projected to bring to Illinois more intense storms, more unhealthy air days and more devastating droughts. Scientists have warned that the window is rapidly closing for making the necessary cuts in carbon pollution to protect future generations from the worst consequences of global warming.’

To respond to this threat, the president’s plan contains several key components. It will:

“• Limit carbon pollution from new and existing power plants. The president directed the Environmental Protection Agency to set limits on carbon pollution from new and existing power plants, which currently lack any such federal limits, despite being the largest single source of the carbon pollution fueling global warming.

“• Invest in energy efficiency. New efficiency measures for buildings and new appliances will cut carbon pollution by reducing our overall energy demand.

“• Build more renewable energy. The plan focuses on expanding production of clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar, especially on public lands.

“• Support affected communities. The president’s plan will help ensure that communities are better equipped to prepare for and recover from the impacts of global warming.

“• Rebuild U.S. leadership internationally. The president’s plan calls for the U.S. to actively engage in international efforts to address global warming.

Environment Illinois offered special praise for the president’s pledge to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants. More than 3.2 million Americans submitted public comments last year in support of the president setting limits on carbon pollution from power plants.

“‘Carbon pollution from power plants is a huge part of the global warming problem,’ McCoy said. ‘Today, President Obama acknowledged this and mapped out a plan for cleaning up this pollution. We also know that this plan is just one important step in a multi-year effort, and that the proof of the plan’s success will be in the pudding. Environment Illinois stands ready to assist the president in following through on this critical commitment.’”

Posted June 27, 2013

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