PA's Path to Meeting EPA Power Plant
June 4, 2014Tom Joseph
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania and
other states will play major roles in implementing a proposed by the federal
Environmental Protection Agency that would require power plants to cut carbon
dioxide emissions 30 percent below their 2005 levels by 2030.
The new proposal gives states flexibility to decide how to meet their
The EPA action can help the nation stave off conditions that climate scientists
predict could be life-threatening within a century if nothing is done, said Ed
Perry, outreach coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation's Climate
Change Campaign in Pennsylvania.
"They're expecting 50 percent of our species on Earth to go extinct,"
he said. "We're going to have more extreme weather. Pennsylvania is
predicted to have the entire summer over 90 degrees, with 26 of those days over
Industry groups say implementing the rule as written would mean substantially
higher utility bills for consumers and massive job losses nationwide. Perry
noted that the fossil fuel industry routinely claims that new pollution limits
will shut it down, and said those power plants that have invested in pollution
controls now are in the best position to embrace the changes if the rule is
adopted. The EPA will take public comments on it for the next four months.
In Perry's view, now is no time to risk the future well-being of the planet in
the name of profit.
"These carbon rules are the first step in getting us off of these fossil
fuels that are putting our planet on the path to destruction," he said.
In the past century, he said, Earth's temperature has risen only 1.5 degrees on
average, and yet the effects brought on by climate change already have been
substantial. He's hoping the EPA proposal will prompt new investment in
renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal.
Details of the EPA proposal are online at epa.gov.