Clean Air Act Digest, 10.23.13
On October 16, just before the government would no longer have enough funds to pay its bills, lawmakers passed a deal which put federal workers back to work after 16 days of furlough, prevented a potential default on US debt, and avoided conceding to any major policy changes.
While the current crisis was concluded, the agreement didn’t solve any of the long-term divisions over fiscal policy, and Congress will have to return to the same issues over the next four months. The measure only provides funding through January 15, 2014 and maintains the same low funding levels as the FY13 sequester. Additionally, the debt limit is only suspended until February 7, 2014. After passing the bill, Congress also appointed conferees to attempt to produce a budget which resolves the ongoing fiscal policy drama. It is hoped that the unpopularity of a government shutdown will prevent similar actions from happening again in January.
While no anti-environmental policies were tacked onto the agreement, there are continued concerns
On October 15, the Supreme Court rejected last-ditch efforts by industry and conservative states to block EPA from setting standards to curb the carbon pollution that drives dangerous climate change. The Court’s ruling clears the way for EPA to issue carbon pollution standards for power plants under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.
The Court denied petitions to review EPA’s landmark carbon pollution decisions issued in President Obama’s first term: the 2009 “endangerment determination” and the 2010 clean car standards set jointly with the Transportation Department and with the support of the entire auto industry.
The Court granted petitions to review just one issue: whether EPA’s vehicle emission standards triggered requirements for carbon-emitting industrial sources to obtain permits under other parts of the Clean Air Act. For more information, see: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/ddoniger/supreme_court_rejects_challeng.html
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to hold 11 public hearings across the country in October and November to solicit input on reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants through the Clean Air Act. This is one of the first steps in the EPA’s process of issuing standards for existing power plants by June 2014, as directed by a Presidential Memorandum on June 25, 2013. Please note: several event were rescheduled because of the government shutdown. Click here to see when the EPA will be coming to a city near you (updated October 18,2013).
These hearings are coming up next: Atlanta (TODAY–afternoon and evening), Boston (Nov. 4), Chicago (Nov. 8).
Add your Voice: Demand Limits to Carbon Pollution from New Power Plants
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a revised proposal to reduce carbon pollution from new power plants. This is an important step in protecting American families from harmful, unregulated carbon pollution and protecting the future of our planet.
Join the 3.2 million voices that have already urged the EPA to support a limit on carbon pollution!
Speak Out in Support of Carbon Pollution Rules for New Power Plants, American Sustainable Business Council Action Alert
Stand Up to Big Polluters: Support the EPA’s Action on Climate Change, League of Conservation Voters Action Alert
Tell the EPA You Support their New Limits on Carbon Pollution from Power Plants, Moms Clean Air Force Action Alert
Demand Limits to Carbon Pollution, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Action Alert
Don’t Let Big Coal Kill the EPA’s Crucial, New Rules, Save Our Environment Action Alert
Fight Back Against Climate-Destroying Carbon Pollution, Sierra Club Action Alert
New Poll Shows Americans Strongly Opposed EPA Shutdown, Look Unfavorably on Those Who Put Our Health and Environment at Risk, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Press Release, 10.16.13
Carbon Pollution Standards and Permits: What’s the Difference? Let Me Explain…, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Blog, 10.16.13
The Case for Clean Air Comes to the Supreme Court, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Blog, 10.15.13
Supreme Court Rejects Challenges to Climate Science and EPA Carbon Pollution Standards, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Blog, 10.15.13
Supreme Court Clears Way for Power Plant Climate Pollution Standards, National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Blog, 10.15.13
Latinos Lead the Way in the Green Economy, Huffington Post Article (by Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO, Green for All), 10.7.13
Above is a sampling of the most recent resources related to upholding the Clean Air Act. Don’t forget USCAN has a series of pages that compile items like these and much more:
Clean Air Act Digest is a publication put together by US Climate Action Network and Natural Resources Defense Council. Please contact Lara Levison at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Click here for past issues.