Calling on the EPA to Cut Carbon
by Brenna Muller
On November 7, the Sierra Club, along with partner organizations, turned out over 200 people to testify at an EPA public "listening session" on a proposed rule to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants.
In September, the EPA proposed a rule to limit carbon pollution from new coal fired power plants. By June 2014, the Agency will write what is considered to be a far more contentious rule, limiting carbon for existing plants. In an unusual move, the EPA sought public input at 11 Public Listening Sessions around the nation.
We had an outstanding day, with those testifying in support of carbon regulation strongly outnumbering the opposition (over 200 to about 37). Dave Scott, Sierra Club President, was among the many Sierra Club activists who testified at the EPA's listening session, calling on the agency to write strong carbon protections for currently operating power plants. A press conference was held a few blocks away at the National Press Club, hosted by the Sierra Club, Clean Air Coalition, Moms Clean Air Force, the National Wildlife Federation, Environmental Defense Fund, and League of Conservation Voters. The speakers, led by Gene Karpinski, President of the League of Conservation Voters, discussed the key issues at stake for both the Mid-Atlantic region and nationally. Over 80 people squeezed into the room that sat 40. After the press conference, J. Firman, a DC Chapter volunteer, lead a march back to the EPA with participants carrying placards, banners and photos.
There are currently no regulations on CO2 emissions for existing power plants, and this Listening Session was an opportunity for us to offer testimony directly to the EPA on why carbon pollution standards are a critical step in the President's plan to reduce pollution and to take action on climate change. Thanks to everyone who turned out to make this day a success!