Chairman Carper Hails Historic EPA Effort to Protect Public Health and Fight Climate Change

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, issued the following statement hailing a historic proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to better protect public health and fight climate change by addressing greenhouse gases from new power plants.:

“Whether it’s the increase in severe weather events like Superstorm Sandy or the unacceptably high levels of asthma among our kids, we have plenty of stark reminders that dirty air poses serious and costly threats to our planet and public health. Yet the first step in solving any problem is to admit that you have one and sadly too many of my colleagues continue to deny that air pollution is a problem.  That’s why President Obama’s willingness to take specific and effective steps to address climate change and protect public health by curbing greenhouse gases is so critical. Curbing emissions from new coal and natural gas plants is a good first step to solving this challenging problem and this effort puts us on the right path toward reducing our nation’s greenhouse gas footprint.  Today’s proposal not only shows that the Administration is serious about addressing climate change, but it also shows that it values public input when it comes to regulating this dangerous pollution.  The Environmental Protection Agency is allowing the public to once again comment on this rule before it is finalized.  I encourage all stakeholders to take advantage of the second public comment period and work closely with the Administration to develop responsible and effective standards that will help save lives and save our planet. As chairman of the Subcommittee on Clean Air, I will continue to work with the Environmental Protection Agency to reject efforts to delay these types of common sense regulations that are required by law and ensure that thoughtful measures like this one are put in place to slash harmful pollutants.”

The Clean Air Act authorizes the EPA to develop technology based standards which apply to specific categories of stationary sources of harmful air pollution. These standards, referred to as the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), apply to coal and natural gas fired power plants built after today’s date. The EPA first published for public comment a proposal addressing greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants on April 13, 2012.  The EPA received over two million comments on this proposal.  In response to issues raised during the comment period, President Obama directed the EPA to issue a new proposal no later than September 20, 2013.