EPA Proposes Historic Limits to Industrial Carbon Pollution

"This is a milestone in the fight to rein in climate change that seriously threatens people and wildlife."

03-27-2012 // Tony Iallonardo
Factory smoke stacks

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the first-ever national carbon pollution limits for new power plant smokestacks. These long-awaited new air pollution standards are essential for reining in the climate change-causing carbon pollution that is increasingly endangering the nation’s public health and wildlife.  The new air pollution standards are the result of a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that found carbon dioxide and other air pollution from cars, power plants, and other sources is subject to the Clean Air Act. Despite that ruling and a subsequent 2011 Supreme Court ruling reinforcing the decision, it is expected that a number of big polluting utilities and coal interests will fight the standard.

Joe Mendelson, initiator and co-counsel in the 2007 Supreme Court case and NWF climate and energy policy director, said:  

This is a milestone in the fight to rein in climate change that seriously threatens people and wildlife. Species extinctions, worsening air quality, and extreme weather are impacting our families, property, and conservation heritage.

“The Obama Administration is the first White House to turn the tide on carbon pollution. Today’s action is much needed and grounded in sound science.  It will draw a groundswell of support in the months ahead. 

“In proposing to put strict limits on industrial carbon pollution from new power plants, the EPA is taking a big step toward protecting the world our children will inherit and unlocking a future of low-polluting, climate-friendly and affordable electricity.”