FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, June 2, 2014
CONTACT: Jamie Serlin at 202-224-5042
Senator Coons applauds new standards to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) released the following statement on Monday applauding the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, the nation’s first carbon pollution standards for existing power plants. By 2030, new standards will cut carbon emissions from the power sector by 30 percent nationwide, reduce particle pollution, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide by more than 25 percent, and prevent thousands of premature deaths and asthma attacks in children.
“Carbon pollution is heating our planet at an alarming rate, altering weather patterns and raising sea levels that could put up to 11 percent of Delaware under water by the end of the century. These changes have already begun, but we still have an opportunity – and an obligation – to save our communities from irreversible damage.
“To mitigate the impacts of climate change, we have to reduce the level of damaging carbon emissions we pump into the atmosphere. If enacted, the EPA’s Clean Power Plan will ensure America’s power plants – our country’s single largest source of carbon pollution – move to responsibly curb harmful emissions. These guidelines set strong targets for reducing carbon pollution, while giving states the flexibility they need to achieve emissions goals in a cost-effective way. This critical effort will protect public health, strengthen the market for energy efficiency, and spur transition to affordable, homegrown clean energy.
“Delaware is already implementing similar standards that have brought enormous benefits to our region over the last five years. As part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – the country’s first regional cap and trade system – Delaware and eight other states have cut regional carbon pollution by nearly a third and raised more than $700 million for investment in renewable and energy efficiency projects. This successful initiative can serve as a national model for states across the country.
“I applaud the EPA for taking strong action today to move our nation toward a cleaner and more stable future. The world is looking to the United States to lead the global charge against climate change. These historic guidelines for power plants – together with fuel economy standards already in place – are a clear demonstration of that leadership, and now our competitors around the world must follow suit. We cannot and should not be in this alone.
“We have a responsibility – to our children and the generations to come – to stand up to this challenge. Our children don’t care about the politics, the pushback, the endless excuses for inaction and indifference. They will ask us only whether, when we had the opportunity, we did all we could to protect our planet.”