Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Clean Air Act Digest, 11.18.13

Clean Air Act Digest




Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) have released draft legislation that would repeal the current Clean Air Act authority to set standards for America’s biggest carbon polluters. The proposed bill would block all current and pending EPA proposals for power plant carbon pollution standards, bar anything but do-nothing standards for new coal plants, repeal EPA’s authority to issue carbon pollution guidelines for existing dirty power plants, and require a new act of Congress before any national regulation of existing power plant carbon pollution would be allowed. On November 14, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power—chaired by Representative Whitfield—held a hearing on the proposed legislation; Senator Manchin was one of the witnesses, along with representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, industry, state government, and civil society. Close to 80 organizations sent a letter to both the House and Senate in opposition of this draft legislation.


Nearly every week for over a year, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has delivered a speech on the Senate floor urging his colleagues to “wake up” and take action on climate change. On Wednesday, November 13, Whitehouse gave his 50th speech. Senator Whitehouse said that he gives these weekly speeches because “the campaign of denial is as poisonous to our democracy as carbon pollution is to our atmosphere and oceans, and because I am confident . . .we can strengthen our economy, we can redirect our future, we can protect our democracy, and we can do our duty to the generations that will follow us” (NRDC, 11.13.13). You can watch Senator Whitehouse’s 50th speech here.


On November 14, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing entitled “Strengthening Transparency and Accountability with the Environmental Protection Agency.” The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Gina McCarthy, was the only witness. While the hearing was billed as one to review the use of science in regulatory decisions, including the merit of the Science Advisory Boards, the majority used much of their time to attack safeguards for public health and the environment, such as ozone pollution and clean water standards. Statements from the witness and representatives in attendance will be posted here as they become available.

On November 13, Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change released new state-by-state polling data on America’s views on climate change. The data was prepared by Professor Jon Krosnick of Stanford University and shows that the majority of Americans acknowledge the science of climate change and believe that it is happening. The data also shows that the majority of Americans believe the government should limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Fact sheets from each of the 46 states polled can be found here.


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held 11 listening sessions across the country over the past several weeks to solicit input on reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants through the Clean Air Act. Across the country, hundreds of US citizens spoke out in support of strong standards for carbon pollution from existing power plants to protect public health and the environment. The feedback from these listening sessions was 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. If you were unable to attend one of the listening sessions, click here to contact the EPA directly or email





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

Super Typhoon Haiyan and NSPS Email Template, Action Alert Template




Big Goal Retirements Announced at TVA Board of Directors Meeting, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) Blog, 11.14.13

Oppose the Whitfield-Manchin Draft Legislation, Community Sign-on Letter, 11.13.13

Americans in Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana and New Hampshire Back New Limits on Power Plant Carbon Pollution, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Polling Data, 11.12.13

Calling out the Whitfield-Manchin Bill for What It Is: A Bill to Continue Unlimited Power Plant Carbon Pollution, Environmental Defense Fund Fact Sheet, 11.8.13

Letter to EPA on Carbon Pollution Standards for Existing Power Plants Listening Sessions, Senator Barbara Boxer Letter, 11.6.13

NGO Letter to Administrator McCarthy on “Tier 3” Vehicle and Fuel Standards, Joint Sign-on Letter, 11.5.13

Fact Sheet: Executive Order on Climate Preparedness, Office of the White House Fact Sheet, 11.1.13

Power Sector Opportunities for Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions: Illinois, World Resources Institute Report, 11.13


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:

Congressional Attacks on the Clean Air Act

Industrial Carbon Pollution Standards

Standards for Power Plants and Other Major Emitters

Clean Vehicle Standards


Clean Air Act Digest is a publication put together by US Climate Action Network and Natural Resources Defense Council. Please contact Lara Levison at for more details. Click here for past issues.