Action – Protect Carbon Dioxide Emission Limits on Power Plants — Deadline TONIGHT, 3/18, by 11:59 pm EST.
We are currently starring in a terror movie, the plot worthy of any James Bond film. The villians, billionaires and multi-national corporations, in pursuit of boundless profit, are killing off our environmental protections, not only returning us to the days when our rivers caught on fire, our water gave us cancer and our air killed our kids, but to huge new disasters we’ve never seen before – hurricanes too big for our categories, tornados made of fire, 100-year or 500-year floods that happen every year.
If we’ve waiting for a superhero to save us… well, one 16-year-old girl from Sweden sent tens of thousands of school kids into the streets to protest government inaction.
Now it’s our turn.
Submit a comment to the oil-industry-controlled EPA opposing their proposed rule change that would eliminate our current strong carbon pollution standards that apply to new, modified and reconstructed fossil fuel-fired power plants. The administration’s proposal would relax the standard to a level that can easily be met with standard technology, continuing coal’s reign as our dirtiest energy polluter. Yes, it’s true what our opponents say. The carbon-capture rules DO make it really hard and expensive to build new coal plants.
Be sure to alter an sample you may start with into something that sounds like you. Copy-and-paste entries will be grouped and counted as a single comment. Channel your high school creative writing class and do your best. Add any personal experience you, your family or friends are having with the effects of climate change.
(More background and references at the bottom.)
Specifically for this action, the administration is targeting strong carbon pollution standards, (which could be met with carbon-capture and sequestration requirements (CCS) OR OTHER MEANS) for new, modified and reconstructed coal-fired power plants.
Comment: I support the idea of the proposal to try limiting the emissions of greenhouse gases into the environment. I do believe though that different steps need to be made. We must start trying to convert all of the energy we use into renewable energy, such as solar, wind, and water energy. We need to stop burning so much coal releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Eventually coal will run out because it is non renewable, so we will need a new source of energy anyway. Greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere causes climate change which is becoming a more evident problem in the world. It is also polluting the air and oxygen that we breathe. Doing this would take much stress off of the environment with the growing number of people in the world using energy.
Comment: Keep the existing limits for modified and reconstructed fossil fuel-fired power plants! I am a citizen who cares about clean air, public health, and climate change and I urge you to maintain our strong carbon standards that reduce carbon pollution from power plants. Carbon pollution standards are critical in tackling climate change and protecting our air, health, and economy along with encouraging renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydroelectricity to help transition away from fossil fuel-based energy generation to a low-carbon energy future. I believe we have an obligation to protect our children and future generations from the effects of climate change by addressing its causesand its impacts. I urge you to finalize strong standards to limit carbon pollution fromnew power plants and to work quickly to create strong standards forexisting power plants.
Comment: I’m writing to support the Obama Administration carbon pollution standards for new power plants. Carbon pollution is being dumped into our atmosphere at unprecedented and unregulated rates, and it’s costing us. We’re paying in dollars, in lives, in jobs, in lifestyles — truly in every way imaginable. Because of this unchecked carbon pollution, I’m living in a world of extreme, erratic weather. In 2013 alone our precious planet was subject to biblical flooding, unprecedented wildfire, crippling drought, devastating super storms, and so much more. I don’t want to leave that behind for future generations. My health shouldn’t be at risk so that polluters can enjoy limitless emissions – and profits. Climate change is already helping diseases like West Nile, malaria, and dengue expand northward; heat-related illness is on the rise; and reduced air quality is triggering asthma and respiratory illnesses. Today, power plants have limits on emissions of mercury, sulfur, arsenic, cyanide, soot, and lead, but there are no federal limits on carbon pollution that is responsible for climate change. This must end, and your limits on carbon pollution from new power plants are an important first step. Thank you for recognizing the cost we’re all paying for carbon pollution, and for taking necessary steps to protect future generations of Americans, and people just like me.
Comment: Even if the elimination of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) were to go into effect, EPA’s own calculations show that it would not make coal plants competitive enough to revive the industry. But if any energy companies did make the investment to build, modify or reconstruct, CO2 emissions would rise at a time when all reputable science bodies show that global warming is accelerating faster than previously thought and that urgent and dramatic reductions are needed. EPA is proposing legally questionable action that is at odds with science and will endanger its citizens.
Comment: Weakening CO2 emission standards in the U.S. has worldwide implications that come back to harm Americans. The administration continues to lobby for continued use of coal around the world, despite its impact on global warming. Weakening of U.S. CO2 standards, along with U.S. lobbying efforts, sends a dangerous message about relaxing emission standards to the many countries where coal-fired plants remain competitive. The IPCC’s 2014 synthesis report for its fifth climate change assessment report shows that CO2 reduction targets cannot be met worldwide without CCS. Increased emissions in other countries will worsen global warming, harm the U.S. economy and further endanger the safety of American citizens.
Comment: EPA is proposing emission standards that are weaker than emission levels already achieved by plants currently operating. As a result, the proposal would cause greater environmental harm. To justify weakening the standards, EPA raises questions about whether CCS is, in fact, an adequately demonstrated technology. However, this question was thoroughly analyzed when the requirement was originally established. And the examples EPA cites to question the viability of CCS are cases where the plants are operating and successfully capturing a significantly large portion of their CO2 emissions – much more than would be required if EPA’s proposal goes into effect.”
Comment: EPAs proposal to revise the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for greenhouse gas emissions from new, modified, and reconstructed fossil fuel-fired power plants would significantly weaken existing limits on these sources, opening the door for more heat-trapping emissions from coal and other fossil fuel-fired power plants.
Climate change has been called the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century. Were already seeing the harm to health from climate-associated intense storms, heat waves, worsened air quality, flooding, sea surges, spread of insect-borne diseases, extended allergy seasons, and more. Life threatening extreme heat events and forest fires increase as average temperatures are higher every year in my State if Arizona.
Reports released in fall 2018 highlight that we have only a short time available to avoid these grave threats. We need urgent action on climate and deployment of zero-carbon energy solutions. Yet EPA is now proposing to allow higher levels of carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants. Besides being huge emitters of CO2 emissions, coal-fired power plants also emit deadly pollutants including particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and VOCs. And they impose the most severe harm on the people living nearest them all too often, low-income communities and/or communities of color.
At a very minimum, the EPA needs to maintain the current reasonable limits on carbon emissions for new fossil fuel-fired power plants.
Main characters in this movie are Bob Murphy, the owner of Murray Energy Corp, political corruption, voter manipulation, and Andrew Wheeler, and EPA director and “former” coal lobbyist, who’s helping fufill Bob’s shopping list by weakening our Obama-era rules environmental protections. The list, originally sent to Mike Pence, concisely describes the payback Bob and the rest of the fossil fuel industry expects for their financial patronage. And it’s not just the money – while Trump (Mr. “Clean Coal”) is fighting to keep his border wall promise to his racist base, he’s also got to toss a crumb to the coal miners who helped him win the presidency, even as mining jobs decline. In a tidy gesture to satisfy both the fossil fuel corporatocracy and key-state voters, Trump signed Executive Order 13783 that specifically targets any protections that “unnecessarily encumbers energy production, constrains economic growth, and prevents job creation.” Not a word on how the related increase of pollution will kill and sicken the vulnerable in our society.
The Clean Air Act requires that new stationary pollution sources such as power plants and factories meet an emissions standard based on a determination of the “best system of emissions reduction” In 2015 EPA issued strong CO2 emissions standards for coal producers, the dirtiest of all energy forms, to include systems to capture the carbon dioxide they produced. New, modified and reconstructed fossil-fuel-fired electric power plants (steam generating units), were to meet emissions limits of 1,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour. To get under this limit, coal plant owners could use carbon-capture and sequestration requirements, which is expensive and difficult to accomplish or any other method that would accomplish the lower emissions limit.
Evidence suggests, that despite Trump’s claims that we will have nice clean coal, CCS has not proven entirely successful. There is only one plant using this system in the US currently. The difficulty of getting the technology to work clearly underscores that there should be no new coal plants, and that old plants should be replaced as quickly as we can with alternate renewable energy sources. However, the Trump administration’s solution would be to allow carbon dioxide emissions from new coal plants to not exceed 1,900 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of electricity, which is basically it’s normal high pollution levels, business as usual.
Bob has this to say to the administration about clean air: (He doesn’t appear to be a big fan of climate science.)
Don’t worry, Be Happy! Because other forms of energy are currently cheaper, the regulation site actually tells us we shouldn’t worry ourselves about this issue, as new coal plants are not likely to be built. However, common sense and natural distrust of our corrupted EPA makes us ask, if there’s no clear gain for industry, why is the administration going to so much trouble? Richard J. Lazarus, a professor of environmental law at Harvard University states: “This says we’re expecting more coal-fired power plants in the future, and we’re going to make it easier to get there.” Yep.
How will this affect us? Bob already ordered the administration to kill the Clean Power Plan, which was designed to limit carbon emissions on a state-wide level. They did.
By the EPA’s own calculations, the administration’s weak replacement plan – “Affordable Clean Energy” and loosened coal emissions standards would lead to upward of 1,400 additional premature deaths and 48,000 new cases of asthma each year due to higher levels of air pollution. So the EPA is now well-practiced in trading the health and well-being of thousands of Americans for keeping polluting and often unprofitable power plants online.
- The Simple Proof of Man-Made Global Warming (skeptoid)
- Protecting Strong Carbon Pollution Standards for New Power Plants (saveepaalums)
- Oil and gas ties run deep in the Trump administration (psmag)
- Scott Pruitt’s Envitonmental Rollbacks stumbled in court. His successor (Andrew Wheeler) is more thorough. (NYTimes)
- Trump wants to bail out coal and nuclear power. Here’s why that will be hard. (NYTimes)
- EPA will ease path to new coal plants (NYTimes)
- EPA announces plan to ease carbon emissions rule for new coal plants (wapo)