WASHINGTON, July 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With climate change a present danger to the American people's health, environment and the nation's wildlife, clean air leaders today hailed the Environmental Protection Agency's historic public hearings this week on its Clean Power Plan to curb carbon pollution from existing power plants, a key driver of climate change.
Results from a new Green For All poll, released during the national telephone press conference today, shows that communities of color view climate change as a real threat, and support carbon pollution standards to help protect them from its worst impacts.
In June, the EPA proposed to limit existing power plant carbon pollution by 30 percent by 2030 under a flexible approach that enables states and power companies to design the most cost-effective way to meet state-specific reductions targets. Climate change already puts Americans' health at risk by contributing to more extreme weather events and worse air quality.
This week, the EPA is holding four days of public hearings about its proposal in Atlanta, Denver, Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh.
"The EPA's proposal to limit, for the first time ever, carbon pollution from power plants a giant leap forward in protecting the health of all Americans and future generations. This week we'll hear loud and clear that the American people are strongly behind the EPA's plans because climate change already, today, is harming our health and environment. We're almost out of time, but not out of solutions," said Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
"Global warming is no longer just a problem of the distant future or of people far away. It's here and it's now. It has personally affected me and my family and we are far from alone. Headlines every day remind us we can't wait any longer to protect ourselves and future generations," said Margie Alt, executive director, Environment America.
"Climate disruption is the defining challenge of our generation. It puts our food and water supply at risk and it endangers our children's health. A crisis of this magnitude demands action. We have a moral obligation to do all we can - by cutting pollution, accelerating a transition to clean energy, and by taking advantage of a tremendous opportunity to modernize how we power our country. Once finalized, the EPA's Clean Power Plan will do just that, and that's why Sierra Club activists are mobilizing to support and bolster this important public health protection at the EPA's public hearings this week," said Michael Brune, Sierra Club executive director.
"This rule represents real progress, not only for America's wildlife, fish and birds, but for the millions of sportsmen, wildlife watchers, and nature lovers who cherish America's outdoor heritage. The National Wildlife Federation and our affiliates look forward to working with the administration and the states to achieve the new standards and protect wildlife across the nation," said Collin O'Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation.
"Communities of color support carbon pollution standards. The same communities who are disproportionately exposed to power plant pollution and most vulnerable to climate change are the ones who agree – the new carbon pollution standards will spur research and innovations to keep energy prices low and create whole new industries with good-paying jobs. We applaud the president and the EPA for acting boldly to protect our families and neighborhoods," said Green For All executive director Nikki Silvestri.
SOURCE Natural Resources Defense Council, Environment America; National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, Green For All