Wednesday, July 24, 2013

EPA Carbon Pollution Standards for New and Existing Power Plants

Coming Soon?

President Obama is calling for action against climate change, but the plan doesn’t go far enough to put a real dent in the greenhouse gas pollution warming the planet.  The EPA is in the process of establishing carbon pollution standards for new and existing power plants.

The Center supports a cap and trade program and EPA should consider such an approach. We are also promoting a technological approach to mitigation climate change by converting CO2 into fuel.

The power plant pollution-controls and other measures the president has announced are aimed at fulfilling his administration’s pledge to put the United States on the path to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 4 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. Such a reduction, however, would not be enough to avert catastrophic temperature rises, according to climate scientists.

A carbon cap would not require new legislation. The Obama administration could
declare carbon dioxide a “criteria pollutant” under the Clean Air Act and set a national pollution cap for CO2 at no greater than 350 parts per million (ppm).

Many scientists have concluded that atmospheric CO2 levels above 350 ppm will cause catastrophic global warming. Pollution caps could also be set for other dangerous greenhouse gases, including methane and nitrous oxide. The EPA has already set caps on other air pollutants, including carbon monoxide, lead and ozone. These national pollution caps are known as National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Once the safe level has been scientifically established, each of the 50 states develops strategies to attain the prescribed pollution caps.  (The Hill, 7/23/2013)

No comments: