Environmentalists, climate activists and regular Americans expressed support for the EPA’s newly released plan to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, the nation’s worst air polluters.
Many hailed the new rule — which still needs to be finalized — as the toughest action so far taken by the US against climate change.
Here’s a round-up of reaction.
A Washington Post poll published today finds that a big majority of Americans, which by definition means a bipartisan group, supports limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
"Fully 70 percent say the federal government should require limits to greenhouse gases from existing power plants, the focus of a new rule announced Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency. An identical 70 percent supports requiring states to limit the amount of greenhouse gas emissions within their borders."
Tea Party Republicans were the most resistant to federal regulation to control GHG emissions, but even 50 percent of that group favored controls, according to the poll conducted over the weekend of 1,006 Americans.
Bill McKibben, author and founder of 350.org
"This is good–these rules will help advance the obvious tasks of moving America off coal. It's one of the many things that simply have to happen if we have a chance of catching up with the physics of climate change. Others include rejecting Keystone XL, securing a powerful international agreement, and ending dangerous energy exploration, like fracking and tar sands mining. This is what good organizing does, and more of it will keep the ball rolling. Movement pressure is starting to bring results."
Former Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore
"Today’s announcement by the Obama administration to reduce our nation’s global warming pollution from power plants is the most important step taken to combat the climate crisis in our country's history.
"We simply cannot continue to use the atmosphere as an open sewer for dirty and dangerous global warming pollution that endangers our health and makes storms, floods, mudslides and droughts much more dangerous and threatening – not only in the future, but here and now. As with the connection between tobacco and lung cancer, special interests have vehemently denied the linkage between carbon emissions and the climate crisis. But the reality of global warming is now much more apparent and many more people are beginning to demand action. These same special interests now recognize that change is inevitable, but continue to trot out misleading and false claims to spread confusion and delay action for as long as they can. However, it is now clear that further inaction would be extremely dangerous and destructive for America and the rest of the world." (Read more.)
Green For All's Executive Director Nikki Silvestri:
“Carbon limits are "welcome news for poor Americans and communities of color, who are disproportionately exposed to power plant pollution, and who are most vulnerable to the storms, disasters, and severe weather that climate change brings. We applaud the president and the EPA for acting boldly to protect America's families and neighborhoods."
Jason Bordoff, founding director of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy and former energy advisor to the White House for the Obama administration:
“Today's announcement that President Obama will use his existing authority to reduce harmful carbon pollution from power plants represents the most important action the U.S. has taken to date to address the devastating impacts of climate change. Implementing these standards will enable the U.S. to meet our carbon reduction goals, demonstrate international leadership in addressing climate change, and spur the growth of cleaner forms of energy and jobs in certain sectors. The proposal is not a one-size-fits-all approach, leaving states significant flexibility to meet the standards in a way that works best for each state, and has very large benefits from reducing pollution that vastly exceed its costs. The proposed rule shows President Obama's deep commitment to making lasting change for future generations.”
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