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Former Administrator Lisa P. Jackson (This site is no longer updated.)

âwe can preserve our climate, protect our health and strengthen our economy all at the same time.
Pollutants like mercury, smog and soot are neurotoxins and killers. They cause developmental problems and asthma in kids and heart attacks and premature deaths in vulnerable adults.
When you get a glass of water from the faucet, EPA makes sure that it is clean and healthy.
Environmental regulations have sparked cutting-edge innovations; they have provided the American people with some $22 trillion in health benefits; and by cleaning up the air, water and land, we have given our communities the foundations they need for success.
â we've learned that the engines of opportunity and prosperity in this country run better when they run clean.

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Posted on April 5, 2012

The Facts about EPA’s Carbon Pollution Standard for New Power Plants

By Gina McCarthy, Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation

Last week, EPA proposed a common-sense standard to address carbon pollution from future power plants. It’s disappointing – but not surprising – that the standard was immediately attacked with distortions, half-truths and blatantly inaccurate statements. An editorial in this morning’s Wall Street Journal is just the latest example of this fact-free assault.

Some background: there is currently no uniform national limit on the amount of carbon pollution new power plants can emit, and the standard we proposed last week is common-sense, achievable and in line with the direction the industry has been moving for a decade.

As the Administrator and I said repeatedly when we announced this proposal last week, this standard only applies to new sources – that is, power plants that will be constructed in the future. This standard would never apply to existing power plants. And we have no plans to address existing power plants.

Despite these basic facts, the Wall Street Journal, and others, continue to misrepresent the standard and distort its impact.

For example, this morning’s Wall Street Journal editorial incorrectly states that facilities that are installing pollution controls to reduce emissions of pollutants like mercury, arsenic and acid gases would have to comply with this standard as well. That is flat-out wrong. The proposed rule explicitly does not apply to facilities making such modifications. In fact, EPA did not propose a standard for any modifications.

Because EPA did not propose a standard for modifications, one cannot be finalized. As a result, there is literally no standard proposed in this rule that could ever be applied to any modified sources under any other part of the Clean Air Act.

Second, the standard reflects a trend in the market towards cleaner power generation that has been happening for a decade – not just for the past three years, as the Journal suggests. In fact, in the past decade – primarily driven by conditions in the market – only 7% of the new electric generating capacity in the US has been coal-fired. This is a trend the Journal’s own newsroom has reported on. A September 2010 article for instance, noted that “Power companies are increasingly switching to natural gas to fuel their electricity plants, driven by low prices and forecasts of vast supplies for years to come” and acknowledged that the trend began in the late nineties and had been “accelerating”- a year and a half before EPA even proposed this standard.

That said, we worked hard to ensure that this standard provides a path forward for new coal plants, with the help of technologies that reduce carbon emissions. Carbon capture and sequestration is an emerging technology – one this Administration has invested in – that is currently being permitted and built at facilities. Like most emerging technologies, it is expected that CCS will become more readily available and cost effective as it is refined over time – which is why the Agency built in flexibilities to the standard so that facilities can move forward now with the ability to implement CCS years from now..

Every projection, including those the rule relies on, makes clear that coal will continue to be the largest single source of electricity in the United States. This standard will not change that.

What this standard will do is provide certainty to the industry as they continue building the next generation of cleaner, more efficient power plants – facilities that will continue to burn a range of fuels. The standard has no projected cost to industry precisely because it is in line with investments industry has already made, and continues to make, in response to realities in the marketplace.

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Posted on March 16, 2012

Celebrating Energy Star: 20 Years of Partnership, Promise, and Progress

By Lisa P. Jackson

This entry was previously posted on Huffington Post.

Twenty years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had a bold vision. With the increasing use of electronics in American households and business — including the introduction of personal computers that would soon be in every home and office across the country — the agency saw a need to conserve energy and reduce air pollution to create a healthier climate for all Americans. They saw an opportunity to harness market forces that would encourage both consumers and companies to invest in cleaner, more innovative, more energy-efficient products in sectors across the economy. The result was the Energy Star program.

In the two decades that have passed since it began, Energy Star has become a household name. Its familiar blue label appears on televisions, dishwashers, computers and more — upwards of five billion products sold in the last two decades. We’ve also certified more than 1.3 million Energy Star houses and tens of thousands of buildings across the country. American families and businesses have saved a combined total of nearly $230 billion dollars on their utility bills with help from Energy Star, and prevented more than 1.7 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions

Administrator Lisa P. Jackson speaks with business leaders as EPA celebrates 20 years of Energy Star, a market-based partnership that helps Americans save money and protect the environment through energy efficiency.

Administrator Lisa P. Jackson speaks with business leaders as EPA celebrates 20 years of Energy Star, a market-based partnership that helps Americans save money and protect the environment through energy efficiency.

The program’s partnership with leading companies from every sector of the economy is proof positive that we can strengthen our economy at the same time we protect our environment. Consumers know that Energy Star means savings on the power bill, and they drive the change — voting with their dollars to support companies that make products that meet and exceed Energy Star standards. After 20 years, our vast network of partners gives Americans a wide-array of innovative choices for saving energy and cutting costs every day

Energy Star is one of our great success stories, and it will play a vital role in our future. The challenges we face in growing our economy, the threats to our health from air pollution, and the need for action to protect our planet from climate change all demand serious energy and environmental solutions. In a comprehensive energy strategy, improving efficiency is at the top of the list.

Twenty years in, we still have a bold vision, one in which the Energy Star program helps millions of people — in the U.S. and around the world — save money, protect their health and the environment, and strengthen an economy that’s built to last.

Lisa P. Jackson is the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Posted on February 16, 2012

Champions of Change

By Bob Perciasepe

Yesterday I participated in a ceremony at the White House honoring 11 community leaders as Champions of Change. With the help of grants and loans from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the honorees created jobs in their communities and used innovative techniques to develop projects aimed at improving America’s infrastructure and creating an economy built to last.

When most people think about infrastructure, the first things that come to mind are the roads and bridges that keep people and products moving across our country. But in today’s economy, infrastructure is also the broadband pathways that allow a mother in Memphis to talk online with her daughter in New York.  It’s the grid that carries our energy to homes and businesses. It’s also the pipes that bring clean water in and take wastewater out of homes and businesses in urban and rural communities.

For the EPA, our country’s aging water infrastructure is of particular concern. Some American communities have water treatment facilities that haven’t been upgraded in half a century, and others have worn-out pipes working harder than ever before to deliver water to growing numbers of people. Our communities deserve better than that.

EPA’s largest investment in the Recovery Act went towards improving aging clean water and drinking water infrastructure, and many of the men and women honored yesterday as Champions of Change were part of the effort to improve this critical part of our communities. Philip Guerin led a team that used Recovery Act funds to bring photovoltaic power to a Water Filtration Plant in Worcester, MA, helping 200,000 people get safe drinking water. Mayor Dave Norris of West Monroe, LA oversaw the development of a recycling plant that guarantees a safe and sustainable water source for his city and surrounding communities – while simultaneously protecting jobs and the environment. And Dr. Jana Davis, Chief Scientist of the Chesapeake Bay Trust, oversaw a number of successful grant programs that helped restore and protect a water body that touches the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans.

Each of yesterday’s winners has earned this great honor. They saw that infrastructure problems were holding back their communities, and they used Recovery Act funds to creatively and collaboratively develop solutions. Some of them made water safer and cleaner. Some of them made the Internet more accessible. And some of them made transportation easier. They all improved their communities, and they’re all Champions of Change.

Bob Perciasepe is the deputy administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Posted on February 7, 2012

VIDEO: Green Jobs in an Economy Built to Last

Last week Administrator Jackson visited Mission Motors, an electric vehicle technology company based in San Francisco. The company, which recently doubled its workforce, is an example of how the revitalized auto industry is making an entire supply chain come alive with new innovations and jobs.

Watch the video:

Agency Priorities

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