EPA plan 'the largest single step our country has ever taken to address climate change'

Supporters need to speak up on plan to cut carbon pollution

The Ecology Center is urging its members and supporters to speak up in favor of the commonsense plan to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants that was announced by the Environmental Protection Agency on June 2.

“Communities across Michigan are already seeing and feeling the impacts of climate change, like unpredictable agricultural conditions, extreme weather events, and a 10 percent higher asthma rate due to particulate air pollution,” according to Ecology Center director Mike Garfield.

“In fact, Michigan currently ranks 5th in the nation in premature deaths, hospital admissions, and heart attacks attributed to coal-fired power plant pollution.”

The EPA announcement marks the opening of a 120-day comment period designed to collect input from across the country. “These rules won’t go into effect unless the EPA hears support from the public,” Garfield said. “So the Ecology Center will be asking those in favor of clean and renewable energy to contact the EPA and speak out.”

Supporters can click this link to send a message to the EPA in support of the proposed rules.

The Clean Power Plan proposed by the EPA, part of President Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan, will maintain an affordable, reliable energy system, while cutting pollution and protecting our health and environment now and for future generations. These rules propose the first-ever limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants, calling for a 30 percent emissions reduction by 2030 over 2005 levels.

“Given EPA's recently enacted standards for cars and trucks, the nation's power plants are the largest remaining source of climate emissions,” Garfield said.

"If you live in Michigan, it’s likely that you’re already aware of all these impacts. It’s hard to miss if you’ve suffered through days without power due to unpredictable winter storms, seen produce prices go through the roof, or had family members become sick from living near coal plants and refineries. The proposed rule is the most comprehensive and concrete step our federal government has taken to mitigate the effects of climate change, but they need to hear your voice to make the final decision.”

Those in favor of the EPA plan can find a sample message to send by clicking here. "We made some templates for you, in case you're unsure of what to say or short on time," Garfield said.

"You can also sign up to participate in many of the Ecology Center’s upcoming efforts and actions to garner support for these rules," he said. "We have an obligation to protect our children and future generations from climate change by addressing its causes and impacts – including limiting carbon pollution from power plants. These rules would be a great step forward in addressing one of the causes of climate change, and would do a great deal to improve our public health."

EcoLink — June 2014 Ecolink
An online publication of the Ecology Center

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