Recently, the Obama administration took a big step forward toward addressing climate change. The Environmental Protection Agency proposed limits on the amount of carbon dioxide existing power plants can emit into the air. Our nation’s power plants account for 40 percent of all domestic carbon pollution and despite similar safeguards against mercury, arsenic, soot and other dangerous pollutants, there have been no limits on the dumping carbon – until now.
According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, 70 percent of Americans support federal limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
The new EPA standards would maintain an affordable, reliable energy system, while cutting pollution and protecting our health and environment now and for future generations. The new standards are modeled after the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which Maine participates in with eight other Northeast states. RGGI has proven to be a successful approach to reducing pollution while strengthening the regional economy by reducing energy costs and creating jobs. Maine alone has used RGGI to generate $257 million in energy cost savings since 2009.
I thank Sen. Angus King for his support of EPA’s new carbon emission standards for existing power plants, and I strongly urge Sen. Susan Collins to express her support as well. Although the EPA has full authority to adopt new carbon limits under the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Senate can repeal them, which makes support from Collins and King critical.