U.S. Companies Send Letter of Support Over EPA’s New Carbon Standard

coalplantMore than 100 companies and investors sent a letter of support to the Obama administration for this week’s release of a new EPA standard to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants. A total of 128 companies and 49 investors, managing $800 billion in assets, signed the letters. Ceres coordinated the letter, which was signed by well known companies including the Adidas Group, Ben & Jerry’s, Levi Strauss & Co., Mars, Nike, Starbucks and Unilever.

“As businesses concerned about the immediate and long-term implications of climate change, we, the undersigned strongly support the principles behind the draft Carbon Pollution Standard for existing power plants released today,” the letter stated. “The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Carbon Pollution Standard for existing power plants represents a critical step in moving our country towards a clean energy economy.”

The companies that signed the letter also signed Ceres’ Climate Declaration. The Declaration declared that tackling climate change is one of the 21st century’s greatest economic opportunities, which will require “a coordinated effort to combat climate change—with America taking the lead here at home.”

The new standard, the Clean Power Plan Proposal, reduces carbon pollution from existing power plants. Power plants are responsible for one-third of all U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and currently there are no national limits on carbon pollution. The Clean Power Proposal would, by 2030, reduce carbon emissions from the power sector by 30 percent below 2005 levels, equal to the emissions from powering more than half of all American homes for one year. They would also reduce particle pollution, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide by over 25 percent.

The comment period for the proposal lasts for 120 days after publication in the Federal Register. The EPA will hold four public hearings on the proposal in July in four cities (Denver, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh). The standards will be finalized next June.

“This powerful statement of support from more than 170 companies and investors is clear evidence that the EPA rule is both urgently needed and will help, not hinder, the U.S. economy,” said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, in a statement. “Data shows that the electric power industry is already on a path toward a low carbon future, and this standard will accelerate this shift at the pace required by science.”

GHG and mercury emissions by power plants are already on a downward trend. A recently released Ceres report on the top 100 electric power producers in the U.S. found that nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, mercury and carbon dioxide emissions have decreased since 2000. Carbon emissions decreased 13 percent between 2008 and 2012. Nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions in 2012 were 74 and 79 percent lower than in 1990 when Congress passed major amendments to the Clean Air Act. Mercury emissions have also decreased by 51 percent since 2000.

Image credit: Wigwam Jones

Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.

2 responses

  1. As energy prices “necessarily skyrocket”, these 100 companies might just feel the effects of less disposable income. Satellite data shows global climate has trended flat for 17 years, since the El Nino of 1998

    Remote Sensing Systems (RSS)

    “…Note that after 1998, the observations are likely to be below the simulated values, indicating that the simulation as a whole are predicting too much warming.”

    “The reasons for the discrepancy between the predicted and observed warming rate are currently under investigation by a number of research groups. Possible reasons include increased oceanic circulation leading to increased subduction of heat into the ocean, higher than normal levels of stratospheric aerosols due to volcanoes during the past decade, incorrect ozone levels used as input to the models, lower than expected solar output during the last few years, or poorly modeled cloud feedback effects. It is possible (or even likely) that a combination of these candidate causes is responsible.”

    source: http://www.remss.com/research/climate

  2. Yeah, notice this alleged support wasn’t identified. We know that many CEO’s are in bed with Obama and his crony form of Capitalism. This ‘Act’ is a sham. We are no longer the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases and are actually back @ ’92 levels. Besides our ‘contribution’ is of little or no impact if the rest of the world doesn’t follow suit- and most of the significant polluters WON’T!

Leave a Reply