Saturday, September 23, 2017

Clean Air Act Digest, 9.5.13

Clean Air Act Digest




After several delays, Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) moved to the Shaheen-Portman (S. 761) energy efficiency bill prior to the August congressional recess, with the expectation of returning to the bill when Congress resumed in September. The bill will now be further delayed due to the crisis in Syria, but Senate aides have said it will be next in line after the Syria debate. Senators Shaheen (D-NH) and Portman (R-PA) have put forward a bipartisan, consensus-based energy efficiency bill that will save consumers money and cut pollution. Supporters of S. 761 are concerned that some Senators will try to hijack the bill and push anti-science, anti-health poison pill amendments, including amendments aimed at the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to cut dangerous carbon pollution. The community sent a letter to the Senate before the recess, urging support for a clean bill. See the action alert below to help advocate for a clean bill.


On September 18, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power, chaired by Representative Whitfield (R-KY), will hold a hearing to examine the President’s Climate Action Plan, unveiled on June 25. Thirteen federal agencies were asked by the Republican leadership of the committee to provide witnesses to testify at the hearing. The full list of witnesses from each of these agencies and additional details will be posted here.

While the President’s plan does not call for approval from Congress, Rep. Whitfield and his colleagues in the majority are expected to use this hearing to attack pieces of the plan that they argue will harm the economy, including carbon emission standards for power plants.  While Democratic ranking members Waxman (D-CA) and Rush (D-IL) have sent 27 letters requesting a hearing on climate change, this hearing does not address the crucial topics that they proposed to cover, including climate science and climate change impacts.


On September 20, the Administration is expected to release a revised proposal on reducing carbon pollution from new power plants.  This intention, along with a plan to move forward with reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants, was announced in a memorandum issued by President Obama on June 25, the same day he released his full Climate Action Plan. After the new proposal is issued on September 20, there will be a public comment period that is expected to include one or two public hearings.

As an initial step in engaging with stakeholders on standards for cutting carbon pollution from existing power plants, EPA has produced a webinar on section 111 of the Clean Air Act, the source of the Administration’s authority to set these standards.


Urge your US Senators: Keep Energy Efficiency Bill Clean

A good bipartisan bill (S. 761) that would increase energy efficiency is making its way through the Senate. Unfortunately, it has become a target for harmful amendments that would undermine clean energy and the President’s recently announced Climate Action Plan.

Ask your senators to oppose amendments that would weaken the integrity of the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill!


Urge your Senator:  Protect the President’s Climate Plan, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Action Alert

Tell your Senators:  Keep Shaheen-Portman Clean!, Sierra Club Action Alert


The Obama Administration’s Climate Change Policies and Activities Hearing

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing to examine the administration’s current and proposed climate change activities, including the President’s Climate Action Plan. The hearing will take place on September 18, 2013 at 10 AM in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing is open to the public.


More Cooling with Less (Global) Warming: Moving Forward on Obama’s Climate Plan with Efficiency Rules for Commercial Fridges and Freezers, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Blog, 8.30.13

EPA Kick-Starts Carbon Pollution Standards for Power Plants, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Blog, 8.30.13

FAIL: How the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Flunks the Climate Test, Sierra Club and Oil Change International Joint Report, 8.29.13

We’re Seeing Catastrophic Effects of Climate Change, Las Vegas Sun Article (by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid), 8.11.13

Overview Presentation: Clean Air Act Section 111, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Webinar, 8.13

Power Sector Opportunities for Reducing Carbon Emissions: Ohio, World Resources Institute Fact Sheet, 8.13

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.