January is a time for New Year’s resolutions, hot chocolate and the tantalizing possibility of snow days.
For me, it’s also a time when I reflect on what the past year has meant for me, my family, and our world.
Right now, I’m focusing on climate change through these three interwoven lenses. Fortunately, this year I have a lot of significant and positive steps to reflect on.
Here’s the one I’m thinking about the most: the Clean Power Plan.
The Clean Power Plan will set the nation’s first-ever carbon pollution standards for power plants. It’s one of the biggest steps we’ve ever taken to address the pollution that harms our climate.
EDF strongly supports the Clean Power Plan, of course, but we’re certainly not alone.
These urgently needed standards have already won broad support from the faith community, moms, health and medical associations, businesses, power companies, Latino groups, states, and others – as well as from EDF and other environmental groups.
And more than three and a half million Americans sent comments in support of the Clean Power Plan to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Here are just a few quotes highlighting the Clean Power Plan’s support among diverse groups, and demonstrating the broad support about the need to protect our climate:
Climate change poses grave threats to public health. To protect our communities and the public, the United States must significantly reduce carbon pollution from the largest source, which are existing power plants. Our organizations support EPA’s overall approach with the Clean Power Plan, but urge EPA to strengthen the final plan to provide greater protection to public health.
- Comment Letter from medical and public health associations: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Public Health Association, American Thoracic Society, Center for Climate Change and Health, Health Care Climate Council, Health Care Without Harm, Public Health Institute, and Trust for America’s Health
We applaud EPA for proposing a rule that will place the United States on a path to achieving meaningful reductions in carbon pollution, although we recognize that greater overall reductions will be necessary to meet the challenge of climate change. Our states are already demonstrating that significant, cost-effective reductions can be achieved from the power sector through the “system” EPA identifies as the basis for its proposed emission guideline. We therefore support EPA’s general approach to setting the emission guideline.
- Joint Comments of state environmental agency leaders, energy agency leaders, public utilities commissioners from 14 states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, New York, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington
We support the proposed rule’s overall objective of achieving meaningful emission reductions from existing power plants and encouraging investment in a clean energy future, and these technical comments are offered for the purpose of constructively supporting that objective. We agree with EPA that meaningful emission reductions can be achieved from the electric sector while maintaining electric system reliability.
- The Clean Energy Group, a coalition of power companies
We strongly support EPA in moving forward with the proposed Clean Power Plan in the strongest form possible. We know that communities of color and low-income communities, including the Latino community, are frequently among those most negatively impacted by carbon pollution. Whether it is exposure to health damaging copollutants associated with carbon emissions or the present and worsening effects of climate change, these impacts are both direct and indirect and they threaten the social and economic order of overexposed and overburdened communities.
- Comment Letter Green Latinos, Hispanic Medical Association, National Hispanic Environmental Council, et al.
As businesses concerned about the immediate and long-term implications of climate change, we, the undersigned, strongly support the principles behind the draft Carbon Pollution Standard for existing power plants. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Carbon Pollution Standard for existing power plants represents a critical step in moving our country towards a clean energy economy…Our support is firmly grounded in economic reality. We know that tackling climate change is one of America’s greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century and we applaud the EPA for taking steps to help the country seize that opportunity.
- Letter signed by 223 companies, BICEP, CERES, CDP, and The Climate Group. Companies signing the letter include Unilever, Kellogg Company, Solar City, and SunPower
EPA's efforts to limit dangerous carbon pollution from power plants will protect public health, fight climate change, and help our economy by sparking innovation in clean energy technologies. Our communities, our families and our children are counting on your leadership. Please enact strong limits on carbon pollution from America's existing power plants.
- Moms Clean Air Force Comment Letter
And, while delivering more than 10,000 comments in support of the Clean Power Plan, The Reverend Sally Bingham, founder and president of Interfaith Power and Light said:
[W]e urge the EPA to move forward with the proposed standards for existing power plants so that we can reduce carbon pollution as quickly as possible to address climate change, protect human health, and care for all of Creation.
It has been a great privilege to work on the Clean Power Plan at EDF during the past year. That’s one of the things I’m reflecting on personally.
It’s true that climate change is an immense issue with far-reaching impacts. But the immensity of the challenge has united an extraordinary number of Americans, and moved a wide range of diverse groups to take action — and that is something we can all celebrate this New Year.