Pollution standards will protect Virginia’s health, economy

earth-newEPA Administrator Gina McCarthy today announced a major proposal to curb carbon pollution from our nation’s existing power plants for the first time ever.

Power plants are the largest producers of the carbon pollution fueling global climate change. The proposal is a cornerstone of President Obama’s forward-looking Climate Action Plan, unveiled last year.

In response to today’s announcement, a coalition of Virginia organizations committed to advocating for action on climate change released the following statement:

“Today, the environmental protection agency unveiled an urgently needed proposal to set limits on carbon pollution from power plants for the first time. The impacts of climate change are already taking a toll on Virginians across the commonwealth – from residents and businesses in Hampton Roads dealing with increased flooding, to local farmers who are being forced to adapt to changes in growing seasons. The time to act is now, to protect public health, and move toward cleaner, safer energy sources that can both protect and grow our economy and create new jobs.

“These limits will help avert exorbitant costs to Virginia taxpayers from damage to public infrastructure like roads, bridges and drinking water supplies from more frequent and severe extreme weather. While we must prepare our communities to deal with climate-related public health and economic consequences, we can’t simply adapt our way out of this problem. We need strong action to cut carbon pollution and invest in 21st century energy solutions.

“We applaud the Obama administration for holding true to their commitment to reduce carbon pollution from the nation’s existing power plants, which are among the leading causes of climate change. In order to protect Virginia’s communities and economy from the worst effects of climate change, we call on Virginia’s public officials, including Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, and Governor Terry McAuliffe, to support this plan.”

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