Environment Georgia Urges Passage of a Strong Clean Power Plan

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Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center

Atlanta—Today the EPA held a listening session to take comment on their proposed Clean Power Plan. The Plan would cut global warming pollution from coal-fired power plants by 30% below 2005 levels.

Many organizations, faith groups, and businesses coordinated efforts to host a prayer breakfast, a press conference, a rally and a march down Marietta Street in favor of the plan. Below are the comments delivered by Jennette Gayer, Director of Environment Georgia to the EPA.

“My Name is Jennette Gayer, I’m the Director of Environment Georgia a citizen funded non-profit that works to protect Georgia’s air, water and greenspaces. I want to thank the EPA for holding this hearing for proposing this rule, for rolling with the punches and finding us a last minute home at the Omni.

As an Atlantan, I’m lucky—this is not my first listening session. It seems to go with the territory when working on environmental issues near the Sam Nunn Center. I’ll add that while this might not be my first listening session this is certainly the first one that has kicked off with 40 plus leaders in the faith community gathered for a Clean Power Plan Prayer Breakfast. It is the first hearing that has brought hundreds from Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida and bus loads of kids from around Georgia to advocate for a strong Clean Power Plan which I think is a testament to the importance of this issue to this generation and the next generation.

And, before I move on I’ll also add that sitting thru multiple listening session means I’ve also heard several rounds of utility talking points promising rates will go up, electric reliability will take a hit, the sky is falling.

The sky is not falling, but this is a global problem and Georgia cannot tackle it alone.

But a strong clean power plan will benefit us–Georgia has some of the most beautiful coastline in the nation, so when we talk about sea level rise and hurricanes getting worse, global warming hits close to home.  We’re also talking about economic impact—tourism experts estimate our coast is worth $1.5 billion. I wanted

Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center’s recent report, ‘America’s Dirtiest Power Plants,’ shows that America’s power plants are the single largest source of carbon pollution – and that a handful of the dirtiest plants make up a huge portion of our emissions. For example, if the 50 dirtiest US plants emit more carbon than all but 6 other entire countries. And the dirtiest power plant of them all – which spews as much carbon each year as 4.4 million cars, is right here in Georgia – Georgia Power Company’s Plant Scherer.

If we want a cleaner, safer future for our kids, we can’t afford to ignore power plants’ outsized contribution to global warming. into our atmosphere would be to build more power plants like Blah Blah that would dump even more carbon into the air.”ng carbon For Georgia, tackling the problem means cleaning up the dirtiest power plants.

We know there’s a better way than dirty power plants. This is a problem that has a solution—harness the wind and the sun, make our buildings smarter and more efficient, and slash our dependence on the dirtiest sources of energy, we know what it will take to get there, and we know that these solutions create jobs and can cut electric bills.

On behalf of Environment Georgia and our thousands of citizen members, I urge EPA to develop a strong rule limiting carbon from existing power plants to protect our children and future generations from the worst impacts of global warming. Georgia is the 8th biggest emitter of carbon pollution from power plants, so it’s critical that EPA move swiftly to propose and finalize a strong rule to limit carbon from our power plants. Georgia can’t afford to wait to act on climate. It’s critical that EPA step up and support action.”