Clean Air Act Digest, 7.19.13
The first poll on President Obama’s entire climate action strategy reveals robust bipartisan support for common-sense climate solutions, according to a poll commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council. To help battle climate change, 65 percent of Americans endorse setting limits on dangerous carbon pollution from the nation’s power plants. The poll finds that even 49 percent of Republicans favor the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency establishing standards to curb power plant carbon pollution. The support among Democrats is 84 percent and 56 percent among independents. The poll was conducted by Hart Research, which often works with Democrats, and Chesapeake Beach Consulting, a firm that often works with Republicans. For more information, click here. http://bit.ly/ObamaCarbonPlanPoll
Following months of delay, on July 18, the Senate voted 59-40 to confirm Gina McCarthy as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The majority of the votes were along party lines, with Democrats in favor of McCarthy. Five Republicans voted in favor—Alexander (R-TN), Ayotte (R-NH), Collins (R-ME), Flake (R-AZ), and McCain (R-AZ)—one Democrat, Manchin (D-WV), voted against, and one was absent (Senator Wicker (R-MS). This vote was preceded by a cloture vote to end the filibuster on McCarthy’s nomination, the results of which can be found here. To see how your Senators voted on the McCarthy nomination, click here for the full list.
Also on July 18, in an Environmental and Public Works committee hearing titled, “Climate Change: It’s Happening Now,” Chairman Boxer gathered a collection of distinguished climatologists, oceanographers, meteorologists, and economists to testify and discuss the current state of climate change. Panelists discussed the correlation of extreme weather events—such as droughts, flooding, heat waves, and wildfires—with increased carbon pollution. While Sen. Vitter claimed there is no evidence of increased drought or rising temperatures over the past 15 years across the country, scientists argued it is important to analyze climate change at a regional scale because various areas of the country are experiencing different impacts. Further, while temperature rise has slowed over recent years, warming has penetrated to other aspects of our climate, such as oceans.
On Tuesday, the Energy and Commerce Committee voted on the “Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013,” H.R. 1582. The bill passed 25-18 with two Democrats voting for the legislation. As we reported last week, this extraordinary and unprecedented bill would, in one fell swoop, effectively rewrite fundamental environmental statutes, grant the Department of Energy (DOE) sweeping new powers, and eliminate federal responsibility to consider the public’s health and safety. The bill gives DOE veto power over any “energy related” EPA rule costing over $1 billion. The full House will vote on this bill next week.
What was once an obscure technical detail in regulatory rulemakings, the “social cost of carbon” (SCC), was discussed at length in a House Oversight Committee hearing on July 18. U.S. Representatives who have been denying climate science for years are arguing that rules restricting dangerous carbon pollution cannot go forward until there has been a lengthy public commenting process on the SCC, which has just been updated to reflect more recent peer-reviewed science. It’s critical that this move is seen for what it is: the newest stall tactic among many attempts to stop the EPA from doing its job of protecting our health and environment by setting common sense standards to limit carbon pollution from major sources. For more information, read this blog by NRDC economist Laurie Johnson.
Thank Your Senators for Supporting Gina McCarthy for EPA Administrator
Hundreds of thousands of supporters like you sent messages to senators urging them to confirm President Obama’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). On July 18, the US Senate finally acted, and Gina McCarthy is now the head of the EPA.
Send your senators a message saying thanks for confirming Gina McCarthy and use social media to congratulate McCarthy; she has a lot of work to do, but we think that she is up for the job.
Or send your own email alert: Sample Action Alert Thanking Senators for Gina McCarthy Vote
The “I Will” bus is touring local communities that have been directly affected by climate change, to highlight the need for local and federal action to address climate change. The “I Will” Act on Climate bus tour (#ActOnClimate) is supported by a diverse set of local, state-based, and national public health, progressive and environmental organizations. Organizations across the country are joining in this effort by bringing the ‘I Will’ bus to their local communities, highlighting impacts of climate change and opportunities created by climate action, and calling for local action. Local spokespeople will be available for interviews. For more information, contact Jason Waskey at email@example.com or 301-219-9238.
Senate Beats Back Fossil Fuel Millions to Confirm Gina McCarthy for EPA, Oil Change International Blog, 7.18.13
New EPA Administrator Knows Carbon Limits Are Good for Health and Economy, Natural Resources Defense Council Blog, 7.18.13
Senate Confirms Gina McCarthy as EPA Administrator, Washington Post Politics Blog, 7.18.13
Senate Confirms McCarthy, Now the Real Work Can Start, Climate Progress Article, 7.18.13
Survey: Two in Three Americans Endorse Setting Limits on Carbon Pollution from Power Plants that Drives Climate Change, Natural Resources Defense Council Press Release, 7.18.13
Climate Deniers’ New Gambit: The Updated SCC (Social Cost of Carbon), Natural Resources Defense Council Blog, 7.17.13
World Bank to Limit Financing of Coal-Fired Plants, Reuters Article, 7.17.13
World Bank Shies Away from Coal but Embraces Natural Gas, Oil Change International Blog, 7.17.13
Gina McCarthy: A Return to Bipartisanship in Environmentalism?, Environmental Defense Fund Blog, 7.15.13
Climate Bus Tour Rolls Into Asheville, Citizen Times Article, 7.12.13
The Social Cost of Carbon: Calculating the Toll of Climate Change, Climate Nexus Fact Sheet, 7.13
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.