Don’t care about climate? 3 reasons to shut down this Georgia coal plant anyway

Between the climate talks about to start in Paris and the EPA hearing on aspects of the Clean Power Plan in Atlanta this week, there’s been a lot of talk about climate and carbon. But whether you think limiting carbon emissions is important or not, there are plenty of other reasons to phase out Georgia [...]

EPA Hosts Clean Power Plan Public Hearings in Atlanta

The Clean Power Plan sets emission reduction goals that each state must meet by 2030, based on that state’s historic generation and unique energy portfolio. States are given a wide range of compliance options and ample time to craft state specific compliance plans that are flexible, economically viable and protect grid reliability.

EPA will host two days of public hearings in Atlanta, as well as a few other cities across the country, to take public input on a few key parts of the Clean Power Plan – the Proposed Federal Rule and Model Training Rules and the Clean Energy Incentive Program. The official public comment period for these pieces ends on January 21, 2016, but EPA is hosting public hearings early for those who want to provide input before the deadline.

Extra Extra! Clean Power Plan Finally Published!

Almost 2 and a half months after the Clean Power Plan was released, it has finally become official. Today, the Clean Power Plan was published in the Federal Register, an important procedural step that not only makes the rule official but also marks the start of a period when the rule becomes subject to Congressional review under the Congressional Review Act. Additionally, the publication of the rule marks the beginning of what will likely be a slew of legal challenges from industry and historically coal-dependent states.

Do You Breathe Air? Why You Should Care About New Ozone Standards

Do you breathe air? If you answered yes, then you should definitely care about the soon-to-be-released updated ozone regulations. If you answered no, then I’m glad to learn there really is life after death! All joking aside, the Environmental Protection Agency is under a court order to release updated ozone regulations October 1st that will further strengthen these important public health safeguards.

Oh Say Can You See? Air Pollution and the Smoky Mountains

Back in 1990, average visibility in the Smoky Mountains was just 25 miles. Since then, reductions in air pollution have made it possible for visitors to see as far as 46 miles. In the absence of any air pollution, however, visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park would be able to see a whopping [...]

Another hurdle for “dormant” Plant Washington

Katherine Helms Cummings leads the fight to stop Plant Washington from her home in Washington County, Georgia. She is Executive Director of the Fall-Line Alliance for a Clean Environment (FACE) and writes the Rural and Progressive blog where this article first appeared. The Carbon Pollution Standards for new power plants announced by the Environmental Protection [...]

Final Clean Power Plan Safeguards Public Health and Spurs Clean Energy Growth

On Monday, President Obama announced the release of the finalized Clean Power Plan, our nation’s first regulations to limit carbon pollution from existing fossil-fueled power plants. The Clean Power Plan, as crafted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets achievable carbon pollution reduction goals for each state, based on the unique energy mix currently serving the power needs of each state.

This historic action will mean a huge boon to public health. Along with reducing climate-change causing carbon pollution, the Clean Power Plan will also reduce other harmful pollution from coal plants resulting in prevention of 3,600 premature deaths, 1,700 non-fatal heart attacks, 90,000 asthma attacks in children and 300,000 missed workdays and schooldays due to illness.

Supreme Court Mercury Decision Not a Real Game Changer

In a close 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States sent the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury Air Toxics Standard (MATS) rule back to a lower court for review. Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinion, which hinged on an interpretation of administrative law requirements and did not overturn EPA’s ability to regulate hazardous air pollutants from power plants.

While the Court did not overturn EPA’s analysis and conclusion that public health benefits of the MATS rule vastly outweigh the costs to the coal and oil industry, it did find that EPA should have first considered whether it was appropriate to regulate power plants under the Clean Air Act’s hazardous air pollution safeguards.

First Legal Challenge to the Clean Power Plan Dismissed

Today, the DC Circuit dismissed the first legal challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. The lawsuit, filed by the coal industry and several coal dependent states, claimed that EPA lacked the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. Ultimately, the DC Circuit found the legal challenge premature, given that EPA has yet to release the final version of the Clean Power Plan – which is expected to arrive in August.

3 Ways to clean up the Asheville coal retirement

SACE staffers Toni Nelson and John D. Wilson contributed to this blog post. It’s always good news for public health when a utility announces a coal-fired power plant retirement, as Duke Energy did for its Asheville plant last week on May 19. Unfortunately, Duke did not fully heed the demands of local activists – including the [...]