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Beaching Out for a Carbon Dioxide Pollution Standard
Philly

Beaching Out for a Carbon Dioxide Pollution Standard

clean air council carbon capture EPA rallyHave you “Done the Math” recently on the carbon counts on our atmosphere? It’s passed a milestone – and not a good one at 400 parts per million. This guest post comes from Clean Air Council’s Federal Advocacy Coordinator, Russell Zerbo.  

30 people came out to LOVE Park and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 3 headquarters on Thursday to listen to speakers and meet with the Public Affairs Director.

Why? To demand that EPA finalize standards on carbon pollution to protect public health and curb climate change. Shipley High School students, Clean Air Council and Sierra Club members and other concerned Philadelphians, set up umbrellas and beach chairs on a swatch of grass in LOVE park to draw attention to the damage done to the Jersey Shore from Superstorm Sandy. The damage has been exacerbated by rising global temperatures, sea levels and carbon dioxide emissions.

Last year, the U.S. experienced 11 extreme weather events that cost more than $1 billion each in losses and resulted in 349 deaths. The largest global disasters of 2012 were Hurricane Sandy (costing $65 billion) and the year-long Midwest drought ($35 billion). These events accounted for nearly half of the world’s economic losses.

What is the Federal Carbon Dioxide Pollution Standard – and what’s the status?

The Federal Carbon Dioxide Pollution Standard was initially proposed by EPA in March of 2012. The proposed rule would require any new power plant to emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of electricity produced. Coal plants emit an average of 1,768 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt.

Power plants produce 40% of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Pennsylvania emits 1% of the WORLD’S carbon dioxide.

The EPA missed their first deadline for the Carbon Dioxide Pollution Standard December 14, 2013, and a second one in April after over 3.2 million people called on the Agency to finalize the rules. If the EPA misses a June 13th deadline, 10 states, environmental groups and several municipalities are poised to sue the EPA for failing to enforce the Clean Air Act.

How did things end? The crowd closed their action by chanting “Climate change ain’t cool, we need a carbon rule” in front of the EPA Region 3 Office.

Want to help? Please call Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement Paulette Aniskoff’s office to demand the President set limits on dangerous carbon pollution, by outlining his plan for finalizing the Carbon Pollution Standard. Please call Ms. Aniskoff’s office at 202-456-1097 and tell her that you cannot withstand the health and economic effects of another natural disaster made worse by climate change.

 

Carbon Pollution Standard March in Philadelphia

 

Why did people visit the EPA on Thursday about Carbon Pollution?

Spokesman for the Climate Reality Project, Richard Whiteford told the crowd:

“We are pumping 90 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every 24 hours and all of that CO2 traps heat in the atmosphere causing more extreme storms.”

Arthur Frank, MD, PhD, Chair of the Environmental and Occupational Health Department of Drexel University, also addressed the crowd in LOVE Park. He explained,

“Higher temperatures mean less ice and more water. This is an environmental problem for individuals who are living in coastal areas and farmers that depend on consistent precipitation, not drought punctuated by damaging storms.”

Joy Bergey, Executive Director of The Center for the Celebration of Creation stated her concerns:

“We know that if climate change remains unchecked, it will put at special peril those around the edges of society — the poor, the sick, the very young, the very old. Every faith tradition calls on its followers to take special care of these marginalized groups.  Failing to move this proposed rule forward would amount to a moral failure by the White House and EPA.”

 

 Clean Air Council is a member-supported public health organization based in Philadelphia and founded in 1967.

 

 

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