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EPA Starts Taking Comments on Clean Power Plan

A four-month public comment period on the federal government’s plan to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired electric power plants began this week, allowing anyone to submit feedback through Oct. 16.

A coal-fired power plant. Credit: Paul Jerry/flickr

Called the Clean Power Plan, the proposal is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to, by 2030, slash CO2 emissions from existing coal-fired and other power plants using fossil fuels by 30 percent below 2005 levels. The plan was published in the Federal Register this week, officially beginning the public comment period. 

The plan is controversial because it would require most states to control carbon emissions from their biggest and often most polluting sources of electricity. Each state has a unique CO2 emissions reduction goal based on its CO2 emissions rate, the renewable energy the state produces and consumes, and the efficiency of both its power plants and consumers’ use of electricity.

Part of the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan, the Clean Power Plan is one of two major rules aiming to cut carbon emissions from power plants. A rule proposing to cap carbon emissions from future coal-fired power plants was unveiled in 2013.

The Clean Power Plan is scheduled to be finalized in 2015 after the EPA considers public comments it receives between now and Oct. 16.

The EPA has scheduled four public hearings on the Clean Power Plan in July in cities across the country: In Atlanta and Denver on July 29; Washington, D.C., on July 30 and Pittsburgh on July 31.

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By Traci (Waterloo/IA/50701)
on June 20th, 2014

I think this is SO LONG overdue. I hope it gets enough momentum to continue…for our kids’ future…

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By Karen Peters (Belleville, Il 62220)
on June 21st, 2014

Please prevent oil and coal emissions.  Please tighten the controls on coal and oil emissions.  Please use wind and solar power.  Let us begin to useswitch grass and hemp as fuel.  Please turn our country around and save our environment.

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By Judy Kuhel (Oro Valley, AZ 85755)
on June 22nd, 2014

I just hope it’s not a case of too little, too late.  I think the limits aren’t strict enough, but I guess we have to take what we can get.

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By candace taylor lange (seattle, WA)
on June 22nd, 2014

Climate change is a world wide threat that is affecting millions of people and millions of animals. We are losing the comfortable environment we have lived in from the earliest eons of mankind. We will not continue as living beings on this planet if we do not act, decisively and quickly. Cleaning up our own house is a start, but we MUST stop fracking and stop digging coal out of the ground NOW. Shipping fossil fuels to other parts of the globe just shifts the playing field around, it does not solve the problem. We must rapidly move to sustainable sources of power and stop going out of our way to dig up and ship fossil fuels to other countries. This planet is like a big lovely house with rooms for everyone, but we are filling it with poisons and there is no other home for us. We must change our ways very fast, if we are to survive on the earth. We are destroying our home, rapidly.

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By Lisa Anderson (Algonac, MI 48001)
on June 22nd, 2014

Dear EPA,
I strongly support the clean power plan.  Oil, coal, the keystone pipeline and tracking are all more problems.  Our economy would strongly benefit from putting money into alternative and free energy sources, like so many other countries have done.  Rather than explore old, outdated modes of fuel that have had negative impacts on our environment (New Orleans is still dealing with the oil spill and toxic clean up materials), we need to focus on clean renewable energy sources.  These sources would cut pollution, create a stronger economy and help America to be self sustaining, avoiding wars over oil.
I strongly encourage the work you do and we need to get the people with interests in oil and coal out of congress.  I am saddened by the state of affairs in America and have even considered moving to another country.  America’s morals are deplorable and unacceptable.  We no longer live in a democracy but a plutocracy, where the interest of the rich, serve the rich and they don’t care about the citizens of the United States. 
A very concerned citizen,
Lisa Anderson

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By Dr. A. cannara (Menlo Park, Calif.)
on June 24th, 2014

This whole exercise, with likely expensive suits and Congressional floundering has always been unnecessary.  Indeed both the pro-combustion folks and the anti-nuclear folks have crassly & naively brought us to an environmental state for which our descendants will rightly spit on our graves, should those be found.

We were on track over 40 years ago to eliminate combustion power by about 2000:

But, politics and administrations from Nixon onward fumbled.  The French wisely proceeded to build the cleanest power system, as we could well have: (p7, 21 on).  And the safety record of world nuclear power is unmatched, even including the illegal Chernobyl system and the designed-to-fail Fukushima Dai-Ichi (Dai-Ini, Onagawa, etc. didn’t fail).

Now, because we weren’t deploying 1GWe of non-emitting power by 1980, our subservience to combustion and anti-nuclear naivete leave us with about twice the need for advanced power than we would have—and, for that need, ‘renewables’ are of no use.  Overwhelming a planet’s natural chemistry, as we’ve overwhelmed Earth’s carbon cycle, has consequences.  They aren’t pretty and they’re arriving quicker than sea rise and much of the climate dangers…

Certainly the moneyed combustion folks owe us all an apology, but so do all the environmental organizations who adopted unscientific, anti-nuclear policies, and so do all our administration officials who used “all of the above” as an excuse to do nothing useful.  Bureaucracies grow to serve themselves, not the purposes their founders labored to establish.  We’re out of time for coddling bureaucracies, whether in business, government or activist groups.

As Pogo Possum said:  “I’ve seen the enemy and he is us.”

The Chinese and Russians, among others, will be following their public commitments to dominate world nuclear-power markets.  Will those who’ve ‘succeeded’ in delaying nuclear power’s benefits be apologizing?  Will those who added to coal emissions deaths by shuttering, say, Shoreham, apologize to families of emissions victims?  Similarly for San Onofre.

Reality is here.  We’ve created it.  Our descendants don’t deserve it.  Maturity time, folks.

Dr. A. Cannara
650 400 3071

Some safety refs… (2nd video graphic) (1998)’t-melt-down-311 (Onagawa)

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By Carol Hillson (New York, NY 10034)
on June 25th, 2014

Is there a link or address or petition for where to send comments??

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By Lindsay Harmon
on June 26th, 2014

Hi Carol,

Indeed there is:

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