The League joined with environmental organizations to ask the U.S. House to reject an effort that would block any chance of limiting carbon pollution from power plants. The effort is led by Representative Whitfield and Senator Manchin and would prevent the nation's biggest polluting industry from reducing pollution that drives climate change. The League is a strong supporter of the EPA's practical plan to cut carbon pollution and opposes this irresponsible pollution agenda.
On behalf of our millions of members, supporters, and activists we urge you to oppose the discussion draft being led by Congressman Whitfield and Senator Manchin that would effectively block any chance of limiting carbon pollution from power plants.
Tailored to prevent the nation’s biggest polluting industry from reducing the heat-trapping pollution that drives dangerous climate change, this proposal is extreme. It puts the health of our children at risk and ignores the moral obligation to protect us all and future generations from climate change.
Carbon pollution is imposing real costs on our country’s health and economy, and that hurts American families and communities. Last year's extreme weather - droughts, fires, storms, flooding - cost our country $140 billion. And the federal government picked up the lion's share of the tab, to the tune of about $1,100 per taxpayer.
The draft bill ignores these facts and is driven by a denial of the science that makes clear these threats will only grow worse if we do not act now. The bill blocks the Environmental Protection Agency from carrying out carbon pollution limits on existing power plants by requiring a new act of Congress before such limits could take effect. The bill thus gives extremists in one chamber of Congress the power to continue to block those pollution limits, no matter what the other chamber, the EPA or President think is necessary or achievable or effective. The bill would effectively repeal the requirement under today’s Clean Air Act to reduce carbon pollution from the biggest polluters, and replace it with an approach that lets one chamber of Congress block carbon pollution limits indefinitely.
Power plants have limits on their emissions of mercury, smog, soot, sulfur, arsenic, cyanide, and lead, but no limits on dangerous carbon pollution. Now the Environmental Protection Agency is putting in place a reasonable, practical, cost-effective plan to reduce the pollution driving climate change. We cannot continue to let power plants release unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into our air. It isn't right. It isn't safe, and it needs to stop.
The draft legislation takes us dangerously backwards. It fundamentally would rob EPA of its ability to protect people and turn the law instead into a rubber stamp for the coal industry’s desire for perpetual inaction.
The American people want climate action, not more stalling and certainly not retreat: According to a February 2013 poll conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group, 93% agree that “[w]e have a moral obligation to future generations to leave them a planet that’s not polluted and damaged,” and 65% of voters support “the President taking significant steps to address climate change now.”
This proposal would stop EPA’s work to protect this and future generations from carbon pollution dead in its tracks. Once again, we urge you to oppose this irresponsible pollution agenda, and instead support EPA’s reasonable, practical plan to cut carbon pollution using today’s Clean Air Act.
Clean Water Action
Conservation Law Foundation
League of Conservation Voters
League of Women Voters
Natural Resources Defense Council
Southern Environmental Law Center