The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving ahead with proposed limits on carbon emissions from power plants. These limits will be crucial to halt the worst effects of climate change, and businesses must be ready to speak out in support.
The following sample has been provided for your convenience as a starting point. For comments to the EPA to be most effective, please take a moment to customize the letter to show your personal point of view as to why carbon caps are essential.To: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - a-and-r-Docket@epa.govRe: Comment Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602As a business owner, I recognize that climate change poses a number of risks to our economy, threatening supply chains and infrastructure, raising health care and energy costs, and exacerbating extreme weather events that could literally wipe out my business. The scientific debate is settled; we can’t afford to continue a policy of inaction.To protect my business and others around the country, I support the EPA’s move to set limits on greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. We need to cut carbon emissions now if we want to have any impact on climate change, and having the EPA regulate greenhouse gases in the same way as it does soot, mercury and other pollutants is a sensible step.A third of all U.S. carbon emissions in the U.S. are a byproduct of generating electricity, and coal plants are by far the most destructive when it comes to producing greenhouse gases. To significantly cut our carbon emissions and avert the worst effects of climate change on our country, setting limits on greenhouse gases from coal-fired plants is the most reasonable place to start.Enacting this EPA rule will foster our transition to cleaner, renewable energy sources, which create many more jobs than fossil fuel projects can offer. This rule will ensure that climate change does not fundamentally distort our economy, driving companies like mine out of business and killing jobs in the process.I applaud the EPA’s leadership and I support its efforts to cut carbon emissions from power plants. When it comes to climate change and its destructive impact on our economy, the most damaging thing we can do is nothing. I urge the EPA to make the final rule as effective as possible.Sincerely,
The comment period on the rule opened June 18th, with the publication of the draft rule in the Federal Register. It will remain open for 120 days, longer than the usual 60 days. The EPA recently announced that the comment period will be extended by another 45 days, and will now close on December 1st.
Under the EPA’s proposal, existing coal plants would be required to cut their emissions by 30 percent by 2030, using emissions levels from 2005 as a baseline; an easier goal to reach than reduction from current levels. Once the rule is finalized, states would have a year to design plans to meet these levels; they would be granted some flexibility in deciding how to meet them, including upgrading plants, developing renewable energy or energy efficiency solutions, or moving into regional cap-and-trade systems similar to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in the Northeast.
According to the EPA, electricity generation is the single largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, responsible for 38 percent of U.S. emissions. Coal plants are the worst emitters -- in 2011, utility coal plants emitted 1.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide. In order to avert the worst effects of climate change, including more frequent severe weather events, higher health care costs due to heat waves, and more stress on the energy grid, these emissions must decrease.
Requiring significant cuts in carbon emissions can incentivize the transition to renewable energy, which creates three times as many jobs as equivalent fossil fuel projects. It can also encourage investments in energy efficiency projects, which save companies money they can reinvest in their operations. In addition, the EPA is projecting the rules will cost $7.3 - $8.8 billion but will yield public health benefits of $55 billion to $93 billion.
Now that the comment period is open, it is crucial for business leaders to speak out in support of these regulations. Add your comment using the form on the right. We will forward your comments to the EPA.