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No More Delays on Climate Action, Enviro CEOs tell White House
Less than a week after the Environmental Protection Agency said it was delaying release of proposed new standards to rein in global warming pollution from new and existing power plants, 19 environmental leaders wrote President Barack Obama today urging a new schedule be issued. An open-ended and uncertain schedule for proposal and finalizing the rules is seen by many observers as an incremental step in favor of special interests and polluters that oppose climate action. The conservation groups want assurance that progress won’t stall before the end of next year.
Adding to the controversy, less than three weeks ago the administration shelved long needed action to reduce ozone and smog pollution that costs the nation billions.
This marks the second delay in fulfilling your administration’s promise, made in settlement of litigation and in representations to the Supreme Court, to address power plants’ enormous contribution to the air pollution that drives climate change.
The rules were scheduled to come at the end of September, when last week the EPA administrator said that schedule could not be met. A new schedule was not announced.
NWF says it is critical that our nation build on the successful track record of the Clean Air Act in using the law as a tool to tackle urgent threats like climate change and toxic air pollution.
A 2007 Supreme Court case confirmed that the Act, as passed by Congress, requires EPA to take action on controlling air pollution that leads to climate change. Now, after decades of federal inaction, the Obama administration seemed poised to move forward on this urgent issue, that is until last week.
The letter ends,
Accordingly, we ask that you reaffirm the administration’s commitment to issue strong standards that significantly reduce carbon emissions from both new and existing power plants as the Clean Air Act requires. We ask that the administration announce and stick to a remedial schedule requiring proposal of these standards without further delay and completion of them as soon as possible in 2012.
Your administration’s leadership in carrying out the law, without delay, is essential to securing a stronger, safer and more prosperous America.