Quantcast

New EPA Carbon Standards Give Kids a Fighting Chance

Climate

As dire warnings from climate scientists continue to escalate and what were once rare extreme weather events become increasingly common, we at Sierra Club applaud today's announcement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) outlining its proposed protections from dangerous carbon pollution from existing power plants. These standards won’t just take a big bite out of climate disruption, they’ll also help us tackle other serious power plant pollution that threatens our health, air and water—pollutants including soot, smog and mercury.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

I’ve been thinking about this news all weekend, and I keep coming back to one thing—this new standard gives my daughter, and all today’s kids, a fighting chance at a safe and promising future. We are the last generation of people who have the chance to turn the corner on climate disruption. I want my daughter and all kids to be able to breathe clean air and drink clean water, to enjoy snow days and fishing trips. I don't want them to face more massive wildfires, droughts, superstorms, food insecurity, breakdowns in infrastructure and all the other unthinkable outcomes that our climate crisis could bring. As parents, we all want a better life for our children, and we now have to stand together to deliver that for them.

For decades, dirty power plants have been allowed to dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into our air, making them our single biggest source of the pollution that’s pushing our climate to the brink. Right now air pollution is making our children sick and costing us billions of dollars every year. Some dirty and desperate polluting companies would like to keep it that way, which is why they’re spending big to try and stop these standards from getting across the finish line. We need to join together and make our voices heard in support of these new standards, which you can do right here.
 
These costs—to our health and our wallets—will only grow unless we act. Climate and weather disasters cost the U.S. $100 billion in 2012 alone, according to the EPA, the second most expensive year in U.S. history for natural disasters.
 
Curbing dangerous carbon pollution from power plants will save billions of dollars (up to $93 billion, to be exact)—but more than that, it will save lives. The new standard is poised to prevent up to 6,600 premature deaths and 150,000 asthma attacks in children. EPA's new safeguards will also spur innovation and accelerate the clean energy economy to create good American jobs.
 
That's why the Sierra Club and our 2.4 million members and supporters stand with President Obama and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in their action to cut harmful carbon pollution. We’ll do everything we can to ensure a strong and just standard to save lives, boost the clean energy economy and help American families thrive.

I’ll write more in the coming days about the specifics of the standard, and how far it goes in moving the needle on climate change and air pollution. But big polluters are wasting no time in trying to stop these standards in their tracks, so let’s join together today and make one thing crystal clear—Americans want to turn the corner on climate disruption, we want safe air and water for our kids, and we want action now

I encourage you to contact your governor and other elected officials. Urge them to support EPA's carbon pollution standards for power plants and put strong state plans in place to implement the standards, to give our kids a fighting chance and a safe and promising future.

——–

YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE

Obama and EPA Release Historic Carbon Reduction Plan to Fight Climate Change

New Auto Emissions Standards Could Save $19 Billion in Health Care Costs

——–

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A new report spotlights a U.N. estimate that at least 275 million people rely on healthy coral reefs. A sea turtle near the Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef is seen above. THE OCEAN AGENCY / XL CATLIN SEAVIEW SURVEY

By Jessica Corbett

In a new report about how the world's coral reefs face "the combined threats of climate change, pollution, and overfishing" — endangering the future of marine biodiversity — a London-based nonprofit calls for greater global efforts to end the climate crisis and ensure the survival of these vital underwater ecosystems.

Read More
Half of the extracted resources used were sand, clay, gravel and cement, seen above, for building, along with the other minerals that produce fertilizer. Cavan Images / Cavan / Getty Images

The world is using up more and more resources and global recycling is falling. That's the grim takeaway from a new report by the Circle Economy think tank, which found that the world used up more than 110 billion tons, or 100.6 billion metric tons, of natural resources, as Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

Read More
Sponsored

By Gero Rueter

Heating with coal, oil and natural gas accounts for around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. But that's something we can change, says Wolfgang Feist, founder of the Passive House Institute in the western German city of Darmstadt.

Read More
Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016. Markus Spiske / Unsplash

By George Citroner

  • Recent research finds that official government figures may be underestimating drug deaths by half.
  • Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016.
  • Drug use decreases life expectancy after age 15 by 1.4 years for men and by just under 1 year for women, on average.

Government records may be severely underreporting how many Americans die from drug use, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University.

Read More
Water coolers in front of shut-off water fountains at Center School in Stow, MA on Sept. 4, 2019 after elevated levels of PFAS were found in the water. David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe via Getty Images

In a new nationwide assessment of drinking water systems, the Environmental Working Group found that toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS are far more prevalent than previously thought.

Read More