The Coal Industry is Getting Desperate

posted by Amanda Starbuck

Kelly.pngThe coal industry’s mouthpieces in Washington are getting desperate.

This week, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) had this to say about the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed carbon pollution standards for power plants:

“You talk about terrorism — you can do it in a lot of different ways.”1

Here’s a good rule of thumb in political debate: when someone invokes terrorism out of the blue, you know they’ve lost the argument.  

Because the environmental movement has it right — pollution from coal-fired power plants kills communities and cooks our climate. That’s why the EPA’s long-overdue carbon standards, announced last month, are so important.

This new rule is a welcome step, but we need more. Tell the EPA to strengthen its limits on carbon pollution from power plants.

We already limit arsenic, mercury, soot and other air pollution from power plants—but, until now, not carbon pollution. 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 step to address global warming and here at RAN we absolutely support a national carbon pollution standard.

No matter what the fossil fuel industry-funded politicians like Mike Kelly may say, 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, have spent years fighting to shut down the polluting power plants in their neighborhoods.

The EPA is now accepting public comments on its proposed rule. Write the EPA today—say we need a stronger rule for a stable climate! 

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 next year to include much deeper cuts in the final rule.

We know that the coal industry and the politicians it funds will work to undermine this rule and doom communities to years of future pollution.

Please urge the EPA to ignore the naysaying polluters and do even more to address global warming and set limits on carbon pollution from power plants. 

Together, we can meet our obligation to protect our climate for our children and future generations.


1. “Congressman Compares EPA’s New Climate Rule To Terrorism”, ThinkProgress, July 28, 2014.