American Lung Association: New Carbon Pollution Standards for Power Plants Will Improve Health; 3 in 4 Voters Support Stricter Limits on Power Plant Carbon Emissions

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new rules to curb emissions of carbon pollution from new gas-fired power plants and existing coal-fired power plants. EPA also announced additional final rules today to clean up other emissions from the power sector, including mercury. In response to the finalization of the carbon pollution standards, the American Lung Association’s President and CEO Harold Wimmer issued the following statement:
“These rules are an important step in reducing the carbon pollution that causes climate change. Cleaning up greenhouse gas emissions from coal- and gas-burning power plants will help stave off the worsening of climate change and its many health impacts. These measures will also result in reductions of additional harmful emissions from existing coal plants, which are disproportionately burdening communities nearby now. 

“The public supports these standards. A recent Lung Association poll found that 76% of voters support setting stricter limits on carbon emissions from new and existing power plants. Majorities were in support across party and ideological lines. 

“Carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants is a major driver of climate change, which is a health emergency. To meet the goals of mitigating the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, the country needs to drastically cut its current carbon pollution levels. Today’s final rule will cut more than a billion metric tons of carbon pollution. It will also result in immediate benefits to health at the same time, reducing emissions of harmful oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter. It would avoid at least 1,200 premature deaths in the year 2035 alone.

“Today is a good day for public health. We thank President Biden and EPA Administrator Regan for the leadership and work to get both the stronger Mercury and Air Toxics Standards and the carbon pollution standards across the finish line.

“We also appreciate the agency’s commitment to addressing pollution from the existing gas plants that are affecting health today. We look forward to working with the administration to set strong measures to control greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants from existing gas plants, building on today’s rules for new gas plants. We continue to call on EPA to move forward with its overdue work to update and strengthen the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone. Emissions from gas-fired power plants contribute to ozone pollution, and the current national limits are too weak to protect health, especially for people with lung disease.”

For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
[email protected]

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