EPA proposes first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants

Environment America

WASHINGTON, DC – 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.

Environment America enthusiastically applauded the proposed limits.

“This announcement is exactly what we’ve been waiting for,” said Margie Alt, executive director of Environment America. “This is America’s chance to lead and our best chance to give our children a legacy we can be proud of.”

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee recently underscored the critical need for bold and swift climate action on the Showtime Series Years of Living Dangerously: “We’re the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we are the last generation that can do something about it.”

“Today President Obama is doing something about it,” said Alt.

Across the country, Americans have felt the consequences of global warming. In 2011 and 2012, the number of heat waves was nearly triple the long-term average. In the Northeast and Midwest, extreme precipitation events have increased by 30 percent.

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 Alt. “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. Environment America is taking the message about extreme weather and other climate impacts to more than 1 million households, and mobilizing hundreds of volunteers in a dozen states to show support for the president’s bold action to tackle global warming.

“The coal and other 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. ”