We Have a Climate Problem—and the U.S. EPA has a Solution!

from Wildlife Promise

There’s good news today: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing the first ever carbon limits on new coal plants. And they are kicking off their formal process for getting public input on a second rule they will introduce this winter that would put carbon limits on existing coal plants—a very big step!

Many industry executives are wringing their hands, lamenting that EPA’s proposed rule will make it impossible for new coal plants to be built.

First, that’s not true. If a power company wanted to invest in a new coal plant, it would need to install new technology to capture its carbon emissions. Is the new rule a deterrent for those in the industry who continue to toy with the notion of investing in new coal plants?  Perhaps, and that’s not such a bad thing.

We can’t keep operating business as usual and purport to be tackling the problem of human-caused climate change. Continuing to depend on carbon-intensive fuels to power our buildings and cars at the rate we are, is incompatible with reducing carbon pollution to the levels need to avert severe climate disasters.

Stacks and transmission lines from the coal-based Mt. Storm Power Plant in West Virginia. NWF Photo by Avelino Maestas.

Stacks and transmission lines from the coal-based Mt. Storm Power Plant in West Virginia. NWF Photo by Avelino Maestas.

The EPA’s new carbon rule for coal plants signifies the beginning of the end of an era. And we need to embrace this change and recognize, like with all major societal shifts, there are going to be winners and losers, and those who innovate and look for the path of the future, will prosper.

We need to rely on newer, cleaner energy sources like wind and solar. Flickr photo by Nuala.

We need to rely on newer, cleaner energy sources like wind and solar. Flickr photo by Nuala.

We’re already seeing the strong signs that change is afoot when it comes to the electric power sector. So, while the coal utility executives continue their story of woe, let’s instead celebrate the change:

Coal is the energy of our past—we need to embrace the energy of the future…the energy of today.

Good job, EPA, with getting it right: tackling climate change and building new coal plants don’t go hand in hand.

Take Action ButtonSpeak up for polar bears and other wildlife feeling the heat from climate change, and tell the EPA you support limits on carbon pollution!