State Lawmakers Support EPA Carbon Reduction Efforts

Two hundred fifty-nine state legislators from across the nation submitted a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency supporting the EPA’s efforts to reduce carbon dioxide pollution and urging the EPA to increase its renewable energy and efficiency goals.

Two hundred fifty-nine state legislators from across the nation submitted a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency supporting the EPA’s efforts to reduce carbon dioxide pollution and urging the EPA to increase its renewable energy and efficiency goals.

“We believe the Clean Power Plan could achieve even more pollution reductions with higher renewable energy and energy efficiency goals for states, and we support EPA moving in that direction,” said the letter submitted by state legislators. The 2030 EPA targets for renewable energy generation are below what has already been enacted in 17 states.

“Clean energy is an American success story,” said NCEL Board Chair Rep. Pricey Harrison from North Carolina. “It is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the United States and already employs 360,000 jobs in the U.S., far more than the coal industry’s 87,000 – solar alone employs 143,000 people and grew 20 percent last year.” 

In 2009, the EPA issued an endangerment finding for carbon dioxide, which was affirmed by the Supreme Court – meaning that carbon dioxide pollution was ruled to be a threat to human health, like arsenic and mercury.  As part of the development of the standards to reduce carbon pollution, the EPA is seeking public comment on the proposed pollution limits. 

In the United States, electric power plants emit about 2.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year, or roughly 40 percent of the nation's total emissions – our single largest source. By implementing carbon emission standards the EPA expects to reduce nationwide carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector by approximately 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

National Caucus of Environmental Legislators President Emeritus Maryland Delegate James Hubbard requested that NCEL circulate the letter below to lawmakers.

“The goal of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators is to provide our members with the information they need to promote sound environmental policy at the state level,” said Hubbard. “Our members lead the charge to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink.” 

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