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EPA Holds Hearing on New Carbon Pollution Standard
Yesterday, I joined hundreds of people in taking to the podium here in Washington, D.C. in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to reduce carbon dioxide pollution emitted from power plants. I spoke yesterday, not only as a wildlife advocate, but also as a citizen, New Jerseyan and young person. Check out my full testimony here.
It was an incredibly inspiring day, as I watched students, teachers, moms, health professionals, and many more praise the EPA’s taking a major step into a cleaner and more sustainable future for people and wildlife. Congressman Henry Waxman spoke at a press conference during the hearing in praise of the EPA’s actions along with a fourth generation coal miner from Kentucky and a representative from the National Hispanic Environmental Council. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse also testified yesterday at the hearing, sharing his strong support for the EPA’s rule-making and reinforcing the importance of the EPA’s actions in our fight against climate change. The agency’s carbon rule, as many noted, is a first step toward curbing global warming and the most significant action ever taken by the US government to address this problem.
Global warming is the greatest threat to wildlife in modern history. If nations do not curb climate change, we could see the loss of one-quarter to one-third of all species on earth over time.
The Carbon Rule
EPA has proposed the first Clean Air Act standard for industrial carbon pollution from new power plants. Though the proposed rule applies to new, not existing, generating units, this rule is can pave the way for regulations that would limit carbon pollution from existing power plants as well.
While the EPA currently regulates other pollutants such as mercury and smog, carbon pollution remains completely unregulated in the U.S. This rule would fix this glaring loophole and set in place long overdue protection for our planet.
Wildlife, Habitat at Risk
Already, in the western Hudson Bay of Canada, polar bears have plummeted in number from about 1,200 bears three decades ago to only about 850 polar bears remaining today. And polar bears are not alone; species across the planet are at risk as a result of climate change pollution. To learn more about Wildlife in a Warming World check out the report here.