Philadelphia, PA-- As the public comment period on the Clean Power Plan closes today, PennEnvironment delivered tens of thousands of comments, resolutions of support from more than a dozen communities, and letters from businesses and professors in support of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards to reduce carbon pollution from power plants.
“Across the state, we’ve seen tremendous support for cleaning up power plants and acting on climate,” said Chloe Coffman, Eastern PA Campaign Organizer with PennEnvironment. “This widespread shows that Pennsylvanians want clean air and a healthier future for our kids.”
PennEnvironment helped collect 35,000 comments from citizens who support reducing carbon pollution from power plants as part of the statewide effort. This included a nearly unprecedented effort this summer that mobilized more than 500 volunteers to collect comments, write letters, and educate their communities about the dangers of climate change and the EPA’s effort slash carbon pollution from power plants.
“I was drawn to get involved because I've been doing some reading on the effects that rising carbon emissions have been having on the world,” said Chase MacPherson, PennEnvironment volunteer. “It is so important to act as soon as possible, and [the EPA’s plan] would do great things for our whole planet. We have to act to ensure a safe future for the next generations.”
Supporters of the first-ever carbon limits on power plants also include a range of constituencies, from clean energy businesses and local elected officials to academics and faith groups.
PennEnvironment worked with local elected throughout the state to build support for the EPA’s historic plan. Eleven municipalities passed City Council resolutions or Mayoral proclamations in support of the Clean Power Plan, which represent 17% of the state’s population and include cities like Pittsburgh, Reading, and York.
"Global warming is one of the greatest challenges of our generation," said Pittsburgh City Councilman Dan Gilman. "I'm committed to doing everything in my power to address the issue right here in Pittsburgh, and am proud to stand with other Pennsylvania cities working to do the same."
In addition, 73 Pennsylvania professors from universities including the University of Pennsylvania and Muhlenburg College and 31 solar energy businesses have shown support for the EPA’s plan through sign-on letters.
Last week, Sen. Casey joined the call for climate action: “The evidence – rising average temperatures, melting glaciers, shifts in migratory bird patterns –iis telling us something. We are failing in our duties as stewards of God’s creation.”
PennEnvironment joined with dozens of clean air groups throughout the country to collect 8 million comments in support of the Clean Power Plan. The joint public comment is as follows:
“Since the EPA first began collecting them in 2012, clean air supporters have collected and submitted more than 8 million public comments nationally and in 2014 alone 35,000 have been collected from Pennsylvania who support EPA standards to limit dangerous carbon pollution from power plants. While federal limits exist for toxic air pollutants like mercury, arsenic and soot, there are currently no limits on the carbon pollution power plants dump into our air.
This symbolic 8 millionth comment reflects the broad support that exists in Pennsylvania for solutions that reduce the unlimited carbon pollution from power plants that fuels climate change and puts our health, our economy and our communities at risk. Recent state polling also shows Pennsylvania voters want climate action by almost a 2 to 1 margin. This demonstration of support for U.S. leadership on climate change is unprecedented and exceeds, by far, the anti-science, anti-action efforts of the polluters and their allies.
Pennsylvanians do not have to choose between a healthy economy and a healthy environment. We can have both. Over the last four decades, clean air standards have reduced air pollution by 70% while GDP has tripled. The Clean Power Plan will significantly cut carbon pollution from power plants, while preventing 150,000 asthma attacks and saving $95 billion per year by 2030.
We applaud the EPA and the Administration for its unprecedented public outreach and efforts to craft a carbon pollution standard that every Pennsylvanian can support.”