EPA Takes Historic Climate Action, but It’s Only a Down Payment

For Immediate Release

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Expert contact: Kate DeAngelis, (202) 222-0747, kdeangelis@foe.org
Communications contact: Kate Colwell, (202) 222-0744, kcolwell@foe.org

EPA Takes Historic Climate Action, but It’s Only a Down Payment

WASHINGTON - Today, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized rules to reduce carbon pollution from new and existing power plants, under the Clean Air Act. Electric power plants produce approximately 2.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year -- amounting to almost 40 percent of the United States’ total annual emissions. EPA’s regulations will cut carbon pollution from existing power plants by 32 percent, below 2005 levels, by 2030 and set limits on the amount of carbon pollution that new or modified power plants can emit.

Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica issued the following statement in response to the final rule:

By regulating greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants for the first time, President Obama has taken a historic step toward addressing climate disruption. This desperately-needed action sends a signal to polluters that they must reign in their carbon emissions.

While historic, when measured against increasingly dire scientific warnings it is clear the rule is not enough to address our climate crisis. This rule is merely a down payment on the U.S’s historic climate responsibility. It isn’t enough for the U.S. to merely make reforms to our existing utility structure. We must boldly reshape our economy by democratizing energy to move beyond fossil fuels, including natural gas. Communities around the world need the U.S to take more action if they are to avoid the worst impacts of climate disruption.

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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

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