Posts Tagged ‘United States Environmental Protection Agency’

BFD

June 2, 2014

Jim Messina is imitating Joe Biden now. As well he might. After all, it is not every day that the President takes steps to destroy the national economy and raises energy prices for everybody.

David —

This is a BFD:

The New York Times is calling President Obama’s plan “the strongest action ever taken by an American president to tackle climate change” — he’s proposing new EPA standards to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants, the single biggest source of the pollution in the United States that causes climate change.

David, it should come as no surprise that polluters and groups that like things the way they are have already started fighting this with everything they’ve got. The best thing we can do is show just how many Americans believe this is the right thing to do.

Add your name right now — stand with President Obama and support aggressive action to fight climate change.

Announcements like this are why we all do this work. It’s proof that grassroots organizing really does pay off. Climate change activists have fought for years for EPA standards on carbon pollution — and this week President Obama is making it a reality.

This fight is about our future, but the effects of climate change are being felt right now — it’s linked to stronger weather, from more frequent and severe droughts to floods, storms, and wildfires.

It’s affecting public health, too. Over the past three decades, the percentage of Americans with asthma has more than doubled, and climate change is putting those Americans at greater risk of landing in the hospital. Over half of all Americans live in an area where air pollution levels are too often unhealthy to breathe.

But while we place limits on dangerous air pollution like mercury, arsenic, and lead, existing power plants have had no national restrictions on the amount of carbon pollution they can emit.

None at all — until now.

The President’s plan promises to cut carbon pollution from power plants for the first time, setting a new standard for action on climate change.

As I write this, powerful interests on the other side are lining up their dirty budgets to try to tear this down. They have plenty of allies in Congress that will try to stop us.

I’m asking everyone who cares about this fight to stand up and say so today — stand with President Obama and new carbon pollution standards:

http://my.barackobama.com/Support-Carbon-Pollution-Standards

Thanks,

Messina

Jim Messina
Chair
Organizing for Action

P.S. — We’ve all been fighting for big action to fight climate change — something that will really make a difference. This is it — add your name today and let’s fight for it.

I have said it before and I guess I will have to say it again and again. Mercury, arsenic and lead are pollutants that are hazardous to human health. Various industrial processes can greatly increase the amounts of these substances in the environment to concentrations far greater than they are normally found in nature.It makes sense to regulate the emissions of substances like mercury, lead or arsenic. Carbon dioxide is a compound that is a naturally occurring component of the Earth’s atmosphere. It is harmless to human health and indeed is necessary for life to exist on this planet. Since virtually every industrial process produces some carbon dioxide as does animal respiration, trying to regulate carbon dioxide emissions is pointless, unless you want to establish some sort of totalitarian control over every part of the economy or you want to reverse the industrial revolution.

Notice just how dishonest Jim Messina is being in this e-mail. He states that half of all Americans live in areas where the air is too unhealthy to breathe, never mind that our air has been getting cleaner, and cites increasing numbers of Americans with asthma. He is conflating actual air pollution with increasing levels of carbon dioxide. As I said, carbon dioxide is harmless, unless you are in an enclosed space without ventilation, or are unfortunate enough to encounter a large cloud of carbon dioxide that has been released by a volcano or stagnant lake. Either he is ignorant or he hopes you aren’t paying attention.

This is certainly a fight about our future. These new restrictions on power plants will almost certainly make many power plants more expensive to operate, if they are not shut down altogether which will translate into higher prices for electricity for all of us, which means higher prices for just about everything, and fewer jobs for everyone to pay the higher prices.

There’s that hope and change we were promised!

 

 

 

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Carbon Pollution

November 18, 2013

I have gotten another assignment from Organizing for Action.

David —

This may sound crazy, but it’s a fact: Today, there are no emission limits on our nation’s single largest source of carbon pollution.

About 40 percent of all carbon pollution in America comes from our power plants, but we don’t have anything in place on a national level to regulate the amount of carbon they put into the air.

That’s why the EPA announced a new proposal to set carbon pollution standards for power plants, the same way we regulate other dangerous substances, like arsenic and mercury. It’s a common-sense way to start to make a very real dent in reducing carbon pollution.

Right now, the EPA is asking for the public’s input on these new limits on carbon emissions — add your name to show your support, and we’ll pass it along.

Climate change is real — there’s no credible scientific debate anymore. We’re seeing its effects more and more every year. That’s why we need to do something about it — that includes taking action to reduce our carbon emissions.

President Obama knows how crucial this is. The Climate Action Plan he laid out this summer set guidelines for these proposed EPA rules and laid out a roadmap for further carbon pollution reduction, expanded renewables, and more energy efficiency projects.
He’s keeping his word on climate change — and now we need to do our part.

Add your name today to support the EPA’s proposal to clean up our power plants:

http://my.barackobama.com/Support-the-Presidents-Climate-Plan

Thanks,

Jack

Jack Shapiro
Deputy Climate Campaign Manager
Organizing for Action

By carbon pollution I assume he means carbon dioxide. Mercury and arsenic are pollutants. They are not found naturally in the Earth’s atmosphere in any appreciable amounts and are hazardous to human health. Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring

Carbon dioxide

Not a pollutant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

compound in the Earth’s atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is not  hazardous to human health except in concentrations great enough to displace oxygen. Carbon dioxide is essential to life on Earth. Without it, plants cannot photosynthesize and the Earth  would be a frozen wasteland. It makes no sense to talk of carbon pollution especially in comparison with arsenic and mercury. Either the people responsible for this e-mail, and the whole talking point about carbon pollution, are ignorant of the science of the Earth’s atmosphere or are dishonest and using semantic games rather than actual facts to convince people. If they want to make the argument for reducing carbon dioxide emissions to reduce global warming, then they should make that argument. The fact that they do not make that argument perhaps says something about their credibility.

As is happens, current levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are neither unusual or unprecedented. There is good reason to believe that in ages past levels were far higher than today’s. In the Jurassic Period, carbon dioxide levels were five times the present levels. The long term trend is decreasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and eventually there will not be enough for life on Earth to survive.

 

The Washington Post and the Carbon Tax

February 10, 2013

The Washington Post has published an opinion piece in favor of wrecking the economy. Well, not really of course, but they do want President Obama to address climate change by putting into place a slowly rising carbon tax.

PRESIDENT OBAMA will deliver his 2013 State of the Union address on Tuesday, and expectations are high that he will devote significant time to climate change. We hope that he adopts a different approach to explaining the need for action than he did in much of his first term.

In past addresses, talking about green jobs didn’t work, nor did talking about energy independence. The credible way to justify fighting climate change is to discuss the science, the real reason to cut carbon emissions. There is overwhelming evidence that the planet is warming. The widespread burning of fossil fuels, meanwhile, pumps heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every second. There is still uncertainty about exactly how sensitive the climate system is to a given increase in carbon dioxide concentrations — but not enough uncertainty to justify ignoring the risks of rising temperatures.

Well, the evidence that the planet is warming may not be so overwhelming as they contend. I would say that there is not enough certainty to justify levying a tax that would permanently slow down the economy and put the US at a competitive disadvantage with China and India.

Here is their proposal.

Putting a slowly rising, significant price on carbon emissions would encourage people to burn less fossil fuel without micromanaging by Congress or the Energy Department. This approach would enlist market forces to green the energy sector. It would also allow for similar policies in other nations to connect with America’s, creating a bigger, global market for carbon.

Anything like carbon pricing must get lawmakers’ approval, though, which is the first reason Mr. Obama should make reaching out to them on climate policy a priority. True, a coalition of anti-regulation Republicans and coal-state Democrats killed the last major effort to price emissions, a 2010 cap-and-trade bill. But, in the big budget reform politicians have been promising, they will need new revenue from somewhere. A carbon tax would be an ideal source.

Even second- and third-best alternatives would need Congress’s say-so. These include establishing a national clean energy standard requiring that a defined and rising amount of electricity come from sources cleaner than coal, the top climate villain. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the Energy Committee’s lead Republican and a voice of reason within her party, just released a 121-page plan with other ideas that could serve as a basis for some congressional action, such as paying for energy technology research, reforming subsidies for green power, advancing hydropower and promoting energy efficiency.

Since almost every industrial process emits some carbon dioxide, especially in energy and transportation, a tax on carbon dioxide emissions would be a tax on just about every industry and business in America. These costs will be passed on to consumers and the cost of living will increase. It is true that a new tax would be a bonanza of the federal government, at least until they squander the increased revenues on subsidies for green power.

It’s nice that they refer to coal as the top climate villain. How an inanimate substance could be a villain is not clear to me, but at this time, coal is also our cheapest source of energy and the one that is most abundant in North America. Requiring that a defined and rising amount of energy come from cleaner than coal would raise the cost of energy over time and again raise the cost of living. I begin to think that the editors of the Washington Post don’t like the poor and middle class very much, or perhaps they love the poor so much, they want to make more people poor.

And, they finish with a threat.

The president should also remind Congress that, without ambitious action from lawmakers, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can and will act on its own. The EPA has already established or is in the process of establishing a range of new air pollution rules. These rules will ensure than no new conventional coal plants are built in the United States, and they will force the closure of some particularly awful, ancient coal-fired facilities. More regulations are likely in store in Mr. Obama’s second term. The EPA, for example, has not yet set rules regulating the carbon emissions of major, existing sources of greenhouse gases. Using the EPA’s top-down approach, though, is not the best way to reduce carbon emissions. Mr. Obama should invite Congress to work with him on a better alternative.

So, do what the president wants, or he’ll have the EPA do it anyway. Why bother with a Congress at all, if that is the way we are going to do things? It seems to me that this is the best argument ever for reining in, or even abolishing the EPA. They have clearly become a rogue agency, seeing themselves as above the law and even common sense. Maybe, Congress should abolish the agency and replace it with something more responsible.

Obama Keeps His Promises

April 28, 2012

I got an update from the Truth Team today. Among the other talking points, they wanted me to be sure to remind everyone that Obama is doing his best to protect the environment.

Five steps President Obama has taken to protect our environment
Earth Day was this past weekend, which was a good time to note some of steps the President has taken to help protect the environment. Show others the environmental progress we’ve made over the past few years by sharing this post:

Here is the post.

Here are five firsts in environmental policy that President Obama has put in place to protect our environment and promote clean energy:

  1. Created the first-ever standard to limit greenhouse gases from new fossil-fuel-fired power plants, America’s largest individual sources of carbon pollution. [Source: EPA]
  2. Established the first fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty trucks, which will prevent 270 million metric tons of greenhouse gases from polluting the air. [Source: The Hill]
  3. Put into place the first-ever national standard for mercury and toxic air pollution from power plants, which will prevent up to 130,000 cases of asthma symptoms every year. [Source: EPA]
  4. Approved the nation’s first-ever offshore wind farm, which will produce enough clean electricity to power over more than 200,000 homes. [Source: UPI]
  5. Approved dozens of renewable energy projects, including 16 utility-scale solar projects—the first ever on public lands. [Source: Department of Interior]

I’ll be sure and remember these firsts when rolling blackouts become a way of life because it is uneconomical to build any new power plants and when the next Solyndra type scandal hits the news.


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