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EPA Wants to Hear From You: Kicking Off Public Hearings on our Clean Power Plan Proposal

2014 July 28
Gina McCarthy

July 28, 2014
12:25 pm EDT

The risks of climate change to our health and our economy are clear.  The need for urgent action is clear.  That’s why, as part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, EPA proposed a Clean Power Plan to cut the harmful carbon pollution fueling climate change from our largest source—power plants.

Even before we put pen to paper on our Clean Power Plan proposal, we hugely benefited from unprecedented outreach.  We held 11 public listening sessions nationwide.  We heard from thousands of people through phone calls, emails, meetings, and more.

Since our June 2 release, we’ve officially entered the public comment period on our proposal, and we’ve been laser focused on our second phase of engagement.  We’ve met with 60 different groups in just the first 25 business days after our proposal.  We’ve received more than 300,000 comments so far, and expect many more.  We want no stone unturned; and no good idea off the table.

That’s why this week we’re so excited to kick off public hearings across the country; we’re hosting four different public hearing sessions, two days each, in Washington, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Denver.

We expect great feedback at these sessions. And unfortunately, we also expect a healthy dose of the same tired, false and worn out criticism that commonsense EPA action is bad for the economy.  The truth is, we don’t have to sacrifice a healthy economy for a healthy environment—the two go hand-in-hand. Just look at our history: since EPA has existed we’ve cut air pollution by more than 70 percent, while GDP has tripled. A recent New York Times article on an independent report showed even states like Texas and Oklahoma, states that have expressed some angst over our proposal, actually stand to see economic gains.  Another report from the Energy Analysis Group pointed out that the benefits are big, both to public health and the economy, and in some cases those benefits are still being overlooked.  Their analysis gives well deserved credit to states’ proven track record of creativity and innovation in cutting pollution while keeping energy affordable and reliable.

These hearings are a critical opportunity for people to speak to their government directly.  But to be clear: any comment we receive by October 16, no matter how we get it, will be equally accepted and analyzed.  We’re putting a lot of importance on open and inclusive process, because that will help us get to a final rule we can all be proud of.  I’ve had countless conversations with power companies, utilities, state officials, and businesses—and they all agree.

The Business Roundtable, a group of the nation’s largest companies, said they look forward to cost-effective carbon pollution standards that protect people and grow the economy—and that’s the aim of our proposal.  A recent survey of small businesses shows that they see the economic risks of climate change, and they want action.  And the American people agree, 7 in 10 Americans say global warming is a serious problem.  And 7 in 10 want us to act.

There’s a simple reason a chorus of people from all sectors of the economy and all walks of life are calling for climate action: it’s because our moral obligation is clear.  We all want to make sure the world we leave our children is as clean, safe, and healthy as possible.  And that’s what our proposal is all about.

Additional information about the public hearings:

Instructions for submitting comments:

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations.

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29 Responses leave one →
  1. Captain, Dr. Robert Kamansky permalink
    July 28, 2014

    I was a First Responder and Team Leader-rescue and recovery -Team Rubicon-USA in Mega-Storm Sandy. Yesterday I was put on ACTIVE STATUS TO DEPLOY to the Wildfires in the West. A few days ago I heard an audio and script about our President Obama saying that his take on all this is that climate change is a big factor. I just hope that the EPA can stall and mitigate and help us adapt and even as it seems in Sandy and now the Mega-fires in the West from Sacramento, Calif. and the SAND fire to the Canadian Boarder survive what is for sure coming down the pike. Capatin, Dr. Robert Kamansky

    • 4TimesAYear permalink
      August 1, 2014

      When have we not had drought and wildfires? Those are not evidence of climate change – and it’s certainly not “global” – there is no “global climate” – no “global temperature”.

  2. Basagic Zuhdija permalink
    July 28, 2014

    It is not a matter if we will, it is a matter and we can and must act, because we have the “top-evolutionary innovative solutions.”, and result are our consciences, science and peak of technology which we possess. The Option “do nothing” has justification and excuse just if there are no solutions and this may be just argument.. This is an option of the deniers, skeptics and lobbyists cataclysm in future on this planet. The Man can and must be constructive to nature, because this possibility nature and physics give in their laws for all life on Earth. Biggest Destruction and pollution atmosphere must finish. And this will be biggest gift of nature for us in their laws

  3. Arman.- permalink
    July 28, 2014

    Let’s Go EPA. You’re still the one.
    God Bless You………………………!!!

  4. Terri K permalink
    July 29, 2014

    There is no doubt we are experiencing climate change but as I watch our govt leaders and the global climate gurus like Al Gore – it sickens me as I see them log millions of miles of aiplane travel. And they do not fly airlines but private planes. As you are pursuing this agenda that will increase costs to the little people; set an example for all people. In other words walk the walk instead of just preaching to us. The average income in big cities like DC is over 100, 000 but for an average family. How much do you think it will hurt the electric costs skyrocketing?

  5. sako permalink
    July 29, 2014

    To start with,you got to put a stop to spraying of chemtrails ! I don’t even know where to begin my frustration ! As I watch the skies carefully everyday, who orders spraying has sickness of seeing blue skies… As soon as they see the sky is barely clearing,they start filling in the empty space with more chemtrails. All the heavy metals in soil and water are going thru the roof ! You can not tell me that these are contrails…Contrails can not cover the whole sky. If you will insist that they are contrails,something is really wrong with your planes ! Let’s stop the sense and stop poisoning our families and children !!!! I don’t know if you have kids or not,but I do and I need to do everything I can to protect their health ! PLEASE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT !

  6. Darlene Helton permalink
    July 30, 2014

    This whole global warming crap is exactly what I said… Crap! It wasn’t too many years ago they were saying we were facing a global freezing… guess what, wrong then and wrong now! I sure hope that our next president will just do away with this current EPA … the problem isn’t our COAL… It is a natural resource and was put here to use!

  7. Dixie Elder permalink
    July 30, 2014

    YES! Please, the more we can do to save Mother Earth & clean up the environment, the better. Although we can’t run on gysers like Iceland (a country my husband & I have ties to), America has many other options than coal & gas. Let’s do a lot more solar, wind & other power. Let’s lower the cost of electric cars. Hooray for the EPA’s efforts to make the air & water clean!

    • 4TimesAYear permalink
      August 1, 2014

      I’m all for stopping pollution, but this isn’t about pollution control, and they have said so. Furthermore, no amount of legislation here will stop us from getting pollution from overseas 10 days later.

  8. James A. Kirk permalink
    July 30, 2014

    This is another example of advocates for doing something about “climate change” not even knowing the difference between carbon and carbon dioxide, which they should have learned in Chemistry 101. Their brand of “climate science” is not science, but left wing political ideology.

  9. Chuck permalink
    July 30, 2014

    As a resident of the great State of Indiana, I ask you to let states decide how the utilities within their borders generate electricity. The federal government overall is way too involved in our lives and this is another needless over-reach of power. If the EPA truly wants to fight pollution, go after China, not American enterprise.

    • K.D. Littrell permalink
      August 1, 2014

      I agree with Chuck, shutting down coal fired plants and the generation of electrical power is going to put US industry and the people at a greater economic disadvantage and in a position where we will further fall behind as a world leader and economic power.

  10. Gary Romero permalink
    July 31, 2014

    Got to wonder if the EPA Administrator really is intending to listen at the public hearings when she states “We expect great feedback at these sessions. And unfortunately, we also expect a healthy dose of the same tired, false and worn out criticism that commonsense EPA action is bad for the economy.” So if you agree with what the EPA is doing fine but if you disagree it is tired, false and worn out criticism. Sounds like she’s made up her mind and just going through the motions…

  11. August 1, 2014

    As a resident of this area, our economy depends on coal jobs:

    In the past three years, Alpha says it has laid off 4,000 employees and idled 60 mines and 35 million tons of production. The Bristol, Virginia-based company is one of the country’s biggest coal suppliers, with additional mines in Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.

  12. Bob Bryan permalink
    August 1, 2014

    These regulations will adversely affect our economy and will do absolutely nothing about climate change. It is foolhardy and deceptive on the part of our government and specifically our president, to assert that climate change has anything to do with recent weather events.

    This is a political issue–not based on real science!

  13. JFW permalink
    August 1, 2014

    Please Ms. McCarthy, do another Earth Day Fly-around the country to alert everyone of the dangers of fossil fuel and the need to rid ourselves of dangerous carbon. These shifts in weather patterns must stop!

  14. Linda Bunnell permalink
    August 1, 2014

    I would just ask one thing…what are the EPA’s plans for the northern half of the US, this winter, next winter, the winter after that??? Having experienced, last winter & a shortage of propane, I can honestly say, when coal is totally shut down, it’s going to get mighty cold in these northern climes!

    • U.S. EPA
      U.S. EPA permalink
      August 5, 2014

      The proposed Clean Power Plan will maintain an affordable, reliable energy system, while cutting pollution and protecting our health and environment now and for future generations. We expect coal-fired power plants to continue to be a significant source of electricity going forward. More detailed information about the impacts of the proposed rule can be found in our regulatory impact analysis:

  15. John Tracy permalink
    August 1, 2014

    Sorry, I’m not buying the idea that more regulation is required to reduce global warming. Scientists declared a global ice age was pending in the 70’s. Now global warming is the latest trend. Global temperature forecasting has been used for political purposes since the 70’s to reward companies who contribute to politician’s so called campaign funds and curry favors and gain special projects funding. Reducing carbon emissions in the U.S. comes at what expense and at a loss of how many jobs? Coal produces less expensive energy. We have lots of coal. Great idea, let’s make it impossibly expensive to use it! ( Sarcasm off) We already have regulations in place that have done much to clean the environment. We do not need more regulation, unless it is to regulate emerging countries. Pass this and watch China and all developing economies laugh at us as they produce more and more emissions and pollute our planet. Developing countries don’t begin to regulate their wastes at any level compared to U.S. Oh yeah, they are also actually producing goods. Also watch as more companies leave the U.S. as expenses for energy continue to rise and we continue to hinder companies with ever increasing regulations. Our aging population will be in a poor position to pay higher and higher prices for power.
    Enough regulations, enough regulators! Future generations argument is a hoax. Future generations need us to control our spending and unburden them from having to pay the mountainous debt we’ve saddled them with. Let’s get the jobs rolling and keep them rolling. Let’s keep costs down and ensure future generations that the U.S. can keep providing the world with increasing exports not increasing imports.

  16. Brad Blake permalink
    August 1, 2014

    “And unfortunately, we also expect a healthy dose of the same tired, false and worn out criticism that commonsense EPA action is bad for the economy.” Wow!!! Your bias is really showing with a statement like that. Your agenda is to cram leftist eco-zealous mandates down the throats of everyone regardless of science or economics. This crusade to replace cost effective, energy dense fossil fuels with unpredictable, unreliable, non-dispatchable wind and solar power is despicably irresponsible and will lead to skyrocketing electricity costs. But then, again, that is what Obama promised. It will cripple our great country, reducing its power to rolling brownouts depending on how the wind blows (or doesn’t, most of the time) or solar collects sunrays (except for that inconvenient time called NIGHT!).

  17. Roman Sulejewski permalink
    August 2, 2014

    One fatal flaw in the argument about carbon pollution is that carbon dioxide is not a real pollutant. It is a requirement for plants to grow and produce oxygen through photosynthesis. Reduce carbon dioxide, you will starve vegetation and they will produce less oxygen,

    Without oxygen producing plants or a reduction of vegetation, the human race would be in jeopardy.

    We also emit carbon dioxide through breathing. Should we stop breathing?

    Wind power and solar energy are nowhere close to producing the energy that is required by the population. Should we turn to nuclear power instead?

  18. JaneBD permalink
    August 2, 2014

    I think the Clean Power Plan should definitely be implemented, it’s necessary action.

  19. Albert Gotch permalink
    August 4, 2014

    Don’t shut down coal burners. We didn’t have coal burners when we had the glaciers and still had climate change. The climate all-ways changes.
    Albert Gotch

  20. Pat permalink
    August 5, 2014

    I live in a Town that has put a new street and new sewers in and now my basement floods from sewer back up almost every time it rains. Before they redid the street, I had no problems with sewer back up and constantly cleaning up. I believe they put in sewers that were inferior in size to the sewers that were originally there. They refuse to correct this problem. Sewer water comes in the basement bath tub and drains Do I have any recourse against the Town? I am tired of cleaning up sewer water backup.

  21. JohnMW permalink
    August 5, 2014

    Pollution, both of our air and water, is a problem, as evidenced just recently in Toledo, Ohio where residents could not drink the water because of the toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie caused by high phosphorus counts from fertilizer and sewage plants/septics. Polltion in our rivers and oceans is also a problem–i.e. dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Many times during the summer months, we are warned of breathing problems because of ozone problems, especially in our big metropolitan areas where industrial pollution is most prevalent. So many people are coming down with cancer and heart disease, and the skyrocketing growth of autism is staggering. It makes one wonder if pollution is contributing to this issue, even those who do not smoke are coming down with cancer.On autism, I don’t believe the opinion on the increase that it is better detection. I think there is more to it. As far as energy, why don’t we use solar power more? It is much cleaner than coal and less destructive to the earth. Coal will eventually run out, the sun will not go away as long a humans are around, and when the sun does go away, the human race as we know it will not survive anyway.

  22. Motor PPA Portao permalink
    September 16, 2014

    Great post… your blog is one of the best! congratulations.

  23. Dominique permalink
    November 23, 2014

    Stop hydro cracking , save our water stop bottling plants from stealing our ground water , all life needs safe clean water

  24. Jean Lafleur permalink
    August 6, 2014

    Thank You to receive it, I hope you transform it into reality.Thank You God bless you.

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