This morning, Gina McCarthy, head of the EPA, announced new carbon pollution standards for power plants, the centerpiece of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.
We welcome the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to limit carbon pollution from power plants.
Power plants are the single largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. Setting the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution is an essential and long overdue step to address global warming.
Communities across the nation are already seeing and feeling the impacts of global warming, from increased health risks like asthma attacks and lung disease, to devastating extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy and wildfires across the American West. The science is clear: inaction will only increase these deadly and costly threats.
This is exactly why communities from Chicago to North Carolina, from New England to New Mexico, are fighting to shut down the polluting power plants in their neighborhoods.
To be clear, the proposed carbon pollution standard is just one step. To keep our climate stable, we must rapidly shift our energy production away from the highest-polluting fossil fuels and accelerate our transition to truly clean, renewable energy generation.
The proposed rule is not yet enough to slow global warming and not yet enough to inspire the world to make the necessary deep cuts in climate pollution. That is why we will be working hard the next year to include much deeper cuts in the final rule.
We stand with the majority of Americans who want to see strong action from the government to address global warming and set limits on carbon pollution from power plants.
RAN fights climate change by taking fast, impactful action against dirty energy. Join us by becoming a Dirty Energy Rapid Responder!
Most of the members of my family live within the ring of five coal plans that surround our city. When Bank of America funds coal, it sponsors the coal pollution that’s hurting my family. This bank invests billions into the coal industry every year, locking us into more pollution than we can afford. We stand together today as people who understand the many problems that stem from coal. We are committed to building a healthier world for future generations.In the past two years, Bloomberg data indicates that Bank of America has invested $6.4 billion in the U.S. coal industry, surpassing any other American financial institution. Also according to Bloomberg Data, the bank is the top funder of companies that practice mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia. The bank underwrites the entire spectrum of the coal industry, from mining, to transport, to the utilities that operate the dirtiest coal-fired power plants. Moore has spent the last month protesting BofA’s financial relationship to the coal industry, starting with an ad (one in a series coordinated by RAN) featuring her and her granddaughter that ran in the Charlotte Business Journal. According to a 2010 Clean Air Task Force study, 325 deaths, 502 heart attacks and 5,490 asthma attacks are attributed to the five coal plants within 50 miles of Charlotte. Nationally, coal is a leading cause of life-threatening air pollution like asthma-inducing smog. Last week Pat wrote an email to RAN supporters calling on all of us to help her send a message to BofA. This is what she said:
Can you imagine watching your granddaughter struggle daily to breathe? It is hard to think of breathing as a luxury—but for my granddaughter that is her constant reality. Our family lives in Charlotte, which is one of the smoggiest cities in the country, largely because of its close proximity to dirty coal-fired plants. In the five generations my family has lived here in Charlotte, North Carolina, never has there been an issue more serious than the air we breathe. Bank of America, the #1 underwriter of the U.S. coal industry, should not be contributing to devastating people's health. Terms like "bad air days," "extreme weather," or "climate change" may feel vague or far away to some. But behind these words there are people like me and my granddaughter. People whose lives are imperiled by coal companies and the financial institutions that back them. They think we haven't noticed. But the world is starting to wake up. And we have an opportunity. This is our time to tell Bank of America to stop funding coal and start the transition to a clean energy future today. Because energy should not cost lives.
http://www.flickr.com/slideShow/index.gne?group_id=&user_id=38705147@N00&set_id=72157629583424804&text=BofA pays big bucks for the naming rights to the stadium because of its marketing potential, even while the bank's investments in the coal industry are polluting Charlotte communities and causing severe health problems. In 2012, for instance, one in every four children living in Charlotte will develop asthma or other respiratory problems, while 3,000 North Carolinians will die prematurely, all due to air pollution from coal-fired power plants. There are four coal plants in the Charlotte area, including Duke’s Riverbend plant, which is financed by Bank of America and sits just 12 miles from Uptown Charlotte, not too far from Bank of America Stadium. [youtube GORC1X5HO0M 550] The stadium is intended to be an enormous symbol of BofA’s financial strength and role in the Charlotte community. Instead, it is a massive symbol of BofA's profits-over-people-and-planet mentality. Our action today kicks off a week of events in the lead up to BofA’s annual shareholder meeting in Charlotte on May 9, which is slated to have more than 1,000 protestors in attendance. We need you to stand with these activists. Sign the petition calling on BofA to stop bankrolling the coal industry. Charlotte is hardly alone in being polluted by BofA-financed coal plants. In the past two years alone, Bank of America has pumped some $6.74 billion into the U.S. coal industry – more than any other bank, as detailed in our campaign briefing Bank of America: Risking Public Health and the Climate. Nationally, coal pollution is responsible for 13,000 premature deaths, more than $100 billion in annual health costs, and more than 200,000 asthma attacks every year. Pollution from coal-fired power plants leads to smog, which can cause chest pain, coughing, and breathing difficulties and can make conditions like bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma worse or even fatal. Today, two out of every five U.S. families live in places with unsafe air. Yesterday, we teamed up with the Sierra Club to release our third annual Coal Finance Report Card, which ranks the largest financiers of mountaintop removal coal mining and coal-fired power plants. Bank of America received a failing grade for its weak coal policy and considerable exposure to the industry. Bank of America funds every sector of the U.S. coal industry, including companies operating controversial mountaintop removal coal mining sites and those planning to build coal export terminals along the Pacific Northwest coastline. In addition to posing a major public health risk, coal burning is responsible for one third of U.S. carbon emissions — the main contributor to climate change. Coal is an outdated, dirty source of fuel. What’s more, it’s a dying industry — now making up less than 40% of total energy generation in the country. In other words, coal is the ultimate subprime investment for the climate. We plan to take that message to BofA’s management and shareholders at its annual shareholder meeting on May 9. If you can join us, find the details here. If you can’t, you can still stand with the activists protesting Bank of America’s practices by signing the petition today.