Philadelphia, PA – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed the first-ever, federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants, the largest single source of global warming pollution in America.
PennEnvironment enthusiastically applauded the proposed limits, which once finalized will be the largest step the U.S. has taken to combat global warming.
“This announcement is exactly what we’ve been waiting for,” said Adam Garber, Field Director for PennEnvironment. “This is America’s chance to lead and our best chance to give our children a legacy we can be proud of.”
Pennsylvania power plants put out 48% of the state’s carbon pollution. That’s the equivalent of the amount of pollution emitted by 24.6 million cars or nearly .5% of the entire world’s global warming pollution.
“Today President Obama is doing something about it,” said Garber.
Across the Pennsylvania, people have felt the consequences of global warming. Extreme precipitation events have increased by 54% over the last 60 years, leading to more flooding throughout the states. In recent years, Pennsylvania has been hit by numerous extreme weather events. According to a PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center analysis, nearly 9 in 10 Pennsylvanians lived in counties that were declared weather-related disaster areas.
The National Climate Assessment, released in May, recognized today’s impacts with the statement, “Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present.”
Until now, there have been no federal limits on the amount of carbon pollution power plants are permitted to spew into the atmosphere.
“This announcement is a huge win for the health of our families and our environment,” said Garber. “It is in large part a testament to the millions of Americans, more than 600 local elected officials, and hundreds of small businesses who have already demanded the cutting of carbon pollution.
“But we won’t stop here. PennEnvironment is taking the message about extreme weather and other climate impacts into communities throughout the Commonwealth building more than 20 teams of volunteers to advocate for climate action in their communities, and mobilizing over 30,000 Pennsylvanians.”
“The dirty energy companies that oppose this move may question the science and predict economic apocalypse if we act. They can make up whatever claims they want. But a cleaner, more energy-efficient economy and environment is not going to undermine our prosperity. In fact, our kids' future depends on it. ”