Evergreen Drives Over 94,000 Public Comments Supporting EPA’s Carbon Standards

29 Climate Advocacy Groups Call On EPA To Strengthen Its Carbon Standards Before Finalization

In response to the closure of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) public comment period for its proposed carbon standards for new and existing power plants, Evergreen Action Executive Director Lena Moffitt released the following statement:

“The simple truth is that we cannot defeat the climate crisis without ramping down climate warming pollution in the second most polluting sector of our economy: the power sector. EPA’s carbon standards are one of the most important tools we have to drive down that pollution, and today we took a huge step toward getting them over the finish line. Evergreen is proud to have driven over 94,000 comments in support of stronger standards from Americans around the country. Despite recent attacks from industry special interest groups aiming to curtail climate action—it’s clear what the American people want—bold leadership to address the most pressing issue of our time. 

“Today, Evergreen joined with the Center for American Progress and 27 other leading climate organizations to call for EPA to strengthen these rules in a public comment letter. If President Biden hopes to meet his climate commitments, his administration must focus on three key changes to the standards: expanding the number of gas plants covered, accelerating compliance timelines, and increasing safeguards and community input. As proposed, the rule is expected to cover only 22 percent of existing gas plants, with many utilities given decades to comply. EPA can and must strengthen and swiftly finalize these rules.

“There’s no doubt that regional and local utilities are key players in the fight against climate change. And some are already stepping up to support EPA’s common sense proposal. But it’s time for utilities to decide where they stand. They can either continue down the outdated, broken path that barrels us toward climate catastrophe, or side with millions of Americans who are demanding bold climate action. With strong carbon standards, we can deliver a cleaner future for all. Let’s get it done.”

Earlier this week,  Evergreen Action and Data for Progress (DFP) released new polling highlighting that a majority of voters support the EPA’s proposed pollution rules and think that their local utility company should also support them. This polling comes as EPA’s carbon standards faced attacks this week from the utility industry’s biggest lobbying group, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI). Evergreen recently led a group of 29 climate advocacy groups in calling on EEI’s member utilities to publicly reject their lobbying organization’s reported extreme opposition to EPA’s proposed carbon standards. 

Strong power sector carbon standards are essential to fulfill EPA’s mandate to protect Americans’ health and welfare from the carbon pollution fueling the climate crisis. The Clean Air Act requires EPA to regulate carbon pollution from power plants—and their authority to do so was reaffirmed by Congress last year in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). According to recent modeling from NRDC, robust carbon standards, alongside IRA implementation, could reduce power sector emissions by up to 77 percent below 2005 levels by the end of the decade. You can review this modeling while also reading more about how we can decarbonize the electricity sector in our paper, “Powering Toward 100 Percent Clean Power by 2035.”