Minnesotans celebrate record-breaking support for curbing carbon pollution

Environment Minnesota

Minnesotans joined together on Monday to highlight broad public support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed carbon pollution standard—a proposed standard to limit industrial carbon pollution from new power plants. This first-ever limit is essential to improving public health and protecting Minnesota’s kids.

A United Technologies / National Journal Congressional Connection Poll conducted in June 2012 found that 55 percent of the public, including 59 percent of independents, believe that the EPA should be able to control carbon and other greenhouse-gas pollution that cause climate change.

Over 2.1 million Americans have submitted written comments to the EPA, saying the EPA is doing its job under the Clean Air Act to protect the health and safety of Americans by holding power plants accountable for the amount of carbon pollution they spew into the air. Minnesotans have submitted at least 36,000 comments in support of the EPA rule. The EPA comment period ends at midnight on Monday, June 25, with comments rolling into the EPA from around the nation.

The event included speakers from a variety of backgrounds including Councilman Russ Stark, who represents Ward 4 in St. Paul, Katie Gulley, Regional Manager at the BlueGreen Alliance, Reverend Gwin Pratt, Pastor at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, Minnetonka, and a leader with Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light, Kate Faye, MN350 coordinator. Speakers from the Minnesota Clean Air Defense Coalition were also present representing Environment Minnesota, Fresh Energy, Sierra Club, and Minnesota Conservation Federation.

 “St. Paul residents are concerned about the air that they breathe,“ said St. Paul City Councilman Russ Stark, Ward 4. “That is why the new stronger carbon rule that EPA is considering is of major importance to the people of St. Paul, Minnesota, and the country,” he added. “We can all be proud of the over 2 million people that contacted the EPA to express support for clean air.”

 “We want to protect the health of our families and ensure there are good jobs for ourselves and our neighbors,” said Katie Gulley, Regional Program Manager for Minnesota from the BlueGreen Alliance. “We want to keep our economy strong and competitive internationally, and we want our children and their children to have the promising and healthy future they deserve. The Carbon Pollution Standard helps us achieve this.”

“Power plants are the largest source of the carbon pollution and for decades they have been allowed to dump unlimited amounts of this pollution into our air,” said Mallory Carter of Environment Minnesota.  “Minnesotans want clean air that doesn’t threaten their health or the environment, and over the past two months they have made their voices heard loud and clear.”

Fresh Energy’s science policy director, J. Drake Hamilton, noted that “More than 20 polls conducted across the country demonstrate that Americans want politicians to protect the public health safeguards in the Clean Air Act, and make sure that companies that pollute the air and water are held accountable for the harm they cause.”