Saturday, October 19, 2019
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BREAKING: Virginia Air Pollution Control Board Votes 5-2 to Limit CO2...

Good news for a change; see below for a press release from Virginia Interfaith Power and Light , as well as some video! According...

Remember When the Coal Industry Loved “Clean Coal”?

The Environmental Protection Agency is unveiling carbon pollution limits for new power plants today. The coal industry is screaming bloody murder that no one could possibly expect new coal-fired power plants to implement carbon pollution-cutting technology, but it was only a few years ago that Big Coal was promising Americans it could do exactly that.

The rules will require that coal-fired power plants stop treating our skies like an open carbon sewer. While the rules are only being made public today, the coal industry has spent all week promising to send an army of corporate lawyers to fight the pollution restrictions:

Utility companies with large coal fleets already are preparing to challenge the rule, if it is finalized, on the grounds that the agency is requiring pollution controls that have not yet been "adequately demonstrated" in the marketplace.

Joseph Stanko, head of government relations for the law firm Hunton & Williams, said the EPA's reliance on "federally funded demonstration projects" as the base for its new standard "is illegal, it doesn't 'adequately demonstrate' technology for normal use."

Remember the coal industry was buying billboards promising us coal could be "clean and green with new technologies"?

New Poll: Americans Aren’t Undecided on Inhofe Polluter Bill – They...

UPDATE 11:58am: Warner & Webb voted with Sen. Inhofe. Disgraceful. Fortunately, 53 other senators stood up for public health & killed the bill.

Stink EyeNot only is Sen. Jim Inhofe's bill to block new Environmental Protection Agency mercury standards horrible public policy that would kill a lot of people, a new United Technologies/National Journal poll finds it's wildly unpopular with voters:

A new United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll finds that 57 percent of the public supports a recently-finalized Environmental Protection Agency rule controlling mercury and other toxic air pollution from coal-fired power plants as long as companies are given more time to comply.

The poll found that a similar majority-55 percent-thinks EPA should be able to control greenhouse-gas emissions that most scientists agree cause climate change. Just slightly more than one-third of the public-36 percent-said Congress should stop EPA from such regulation. A federal court is expected to rule soon on whether the agency is within its right to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions.

The poll's findings put a majority of Americans out of step with Senate Environment and Public Works Committee ranking member James Inhofe, R-Okla., who is sponsoring a measure coming up for a vote on Wednesday that would nullify EPA's mercury rule entirely. Just under 20 percent of survey respondents said the Senate should vote to uphold the rule as it stands now, while only 14 percent said the Senate should vote to get rid of it

Again, I'd ask Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb: This is a hard call? Really? Which part is a tough call, the part where it lets corporate polluters profit by treating America's air and water like an open sewer? The part where people with asthma die? Or the part where it's incredibly bad politics?

New Ad Asks Virginians to Speak Up for Carbon Pollution Limits

On the same day a new poll shows supermajorities of small business owners support clean energy & limits on industrial carbon pollution, a new television ad is asking Virginians to stand up for clean air:
The ad focuses attention on a recent Department of Labor study showing that transitioning away from dirty sources of energy to clean technology development and innovation in turn creates jobs. In fact, the Labor Department study concludes that the transition to cleaner energy and technology has already created 3.1 million jobs (Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 2012).

"Clean air protects health and enhances our economy," said Martin Hayden, vice president of policy & legislation at Earthjustice. "According to a Brookings Institute study, between 2003 and 2010, the clean tech sector outperformed the national economy as a whole, expanding 3.4 percent annually. Letting the EPA enforce the Clean Air Act and limit dangerous air pollution spewing from smokestacks will not only make it easier for Americans to breathe, it will also boost the clean technology sector and help create more jobs."

"Whether aimed at toxic air pollutants like mercury or dangerous carbon pollution, there are multiple benefits from job-creating clean air standards," said Joe Mendelson, global warming policy director at the National Wildlife Federation, the sister organization of NWF Action Fund. "EPA air standards that clean up power plants are good for our economy, the health of our families and communities, addressing climate change and for protecting wildlife and their habitat."

Over 800,000 Americans have already told the Environmental Protection Agency that they support the new rules. It only takes a minute, so please speak up for clean air right now.

Can We Outrun the Climate Firestorm We’re Stoking?

FirestormIs it time to stop talking about the low end of climate change predictions? Until now, I've thought of our climate choices as "mild disruption," "wrenching calamity," and "civilization-threatening catastrophe," depending on how quickly and seriously we act to cut carbon pollution. But reading Jeff Goodell's Rolling Stone article on Australia's grim future, I wonder if our continued inaction is putting that first option in the rear view mirror.

The United Nations International Panel on Climate Change issued its 4th Assessment in 2007, predicting a low carbon emissions scenario would see a rise in temperatures by 2100 of about 2 degrees Celsius (about 3 degrees Fahrenheit). The UN continues to cite that 2 degrees C as its goal for maximum temperature rise.

But since that report nearly five years ago, global carbon pollution has continued to rise steadily. And with Washington talking about sticking a new tar sands pipeline in our oil addicted veins, now experts are wondering if we'll act fast enough to avoid the dreaded high emissions scenario: