It can sometimes feel like we are stalled or at best moving too slowly towards truly tackling the climate challenge. But, then, just as I start to feel that way I hear from people around the country who are standing up to call for action and I know we’ll meet the challenge.
I am inspired by the voices and actions of hundreds of thousands of people around the country supporting the first-ever national standards to limit global warming emissions from new power plants. Just last week, more than 500,000 supportive comments on the new standards were hand delivered to the EPA. And that’s just the beginning. On May 24, public hearings on the standards will take place in Chicago, IL and Washington, DC. UCS will be there, along with scientists, health experts, economists, concerned citizens, faith leaders and many others testifying on the importance of reducing emissions and showing support for this first round of standards.
Last Thursday, UCS hosted a national conference call with speakers from the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discussing the draft standards to limit carbon pollution from new power plants—a historic step toward a cleaner, healthier energy future—and talking about how we can all get involved in calling for action.
We were honored to have on the call Heather Zichal, the deputy assistant to President Obama for energy and climate change, and Gina McCarthy, the assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation at the Environmental Protection Agency. Ms. McCarthy shared more details and her insight on the new carbon standards and encouraged scientists and citizens alike to engage and submit comments on the draft carbon pollution standards for new power plants – standards she noted are a signal to the world that the U.S. is committed to addressing climate change. Ms. Zichal spoke about the significant progress on environmental and energy issues the Administration has been able to do working together with members of the public. She also noted the importance of staying engaged on these issues in order to take advantage of opportunities to go further and do better in the future.
The EPA’s proposed carbon pollution standards demonstrate that the Obama administration is taking prudent action to address the dangers of unchecked climate change that an overwhelming majority of scientists have been warning us about for years.
With groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce vowing to do everything they can to stop the EPA’s efforts to protect our health and environment from the impacts of climate change, in order to make these standards a success and lay the groundwork for continued national efforts, the EPA and White House need to know there is public support for action. This is where you come in. With this momentum and excitement, we can make these first standards a reality and get ready for the next round of standards that will limit emissions from existing power plants.
What can you do today? The public comment period is open until June 25th. If you haven’t already, submit your comment to the EPA! If you have already submitted a comment, spread the word and contribute to a record number of comments into the EPA.
Support from UCS members make work like this possible. Will you join us? Help UCS advance independent science for a healthy environment and a safer world.