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.

Guest Post: Polluters are Making the Same Old “Sky is Falling” Claims about the Clean Power Plan

The ink wasn’t even dry on the Clean Power Plan before some power companies filed lawsuits to challenge these historic public health protections.

One of their key complaints? How much the Clean Power Plan is allegedly going to cost.

In their court filing, these companies claimed that they’ll potentially need to spend “billions of dollars” to comply.

This tactic is nothing new, and it’s something we often hear when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues a new regulation that will provide cleaner, healthier air for our communities and families.

But it’s almost always wrong.

In defiance of the “sky is falling” predictions, American industry innovates and figures out ways to comply with new, healthier standards at a fraction of the costs initially projected.

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.

Guest Post: Clean Power Plan Can Boost Energy Efficiency Investments in Affordable Housing

Low-income households are disproportionately burdened by exposure to toxins in the atmosphere and the built environment. Climate change compounds these vulnerabilities when unstable weather patterns increase exposure and/or the potency of toxic chemicals in our environment. Additionally, low-income households are often forced to make housing choices in which they rely on inadequate or lower quality housing. Poor ventilation can cause homes to be drafty in winter and allow in moisture in summer that leads to mold and illness. Poor construction and inefficient appliances and energy grid connections leave families unable to safely maintain comfortable temperatures, leaving them further vulnerable to illness or potentially deadly accidents.

Georgia Power, Alabama Power to begin addressing coal ash storage

This article is posted with permission of the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC). Click here to see their original post. SELC represents SACE in several coal ash related legal cases. Georgia Power and Alabama Power have announced plans to close their respective coal ash storage ponds, though both utilities remain tight-lipped on the specifics of [...]

Justicia Económica y el Plan de Energía Limpia: Más Empleos, Más Justicia

El Plan de Energía Limpia ha sido estructurado para crear miles de nuevos empleos en los sectores de energía limpia y eficiencia energética, ofreciendo incentivos para crear buenos empleos en las comunidades vulnerables. El Plan recomienda estándares robustos para asegurar que los nuevos puestos de trabajo creados conduzcan a carreras de calidad. El Plan de Energía Limpia e iniciativas de política pública relacionadas también contienen protecciones vitales para los trabajadores en el sector del carbón y para sus comunidades. La EPA y el Departamento de Energía (DOE, por sus siglas en inglés) han tomado medidas para ayudar a asegurar que los sindicatos, los trabajadores afectados y sus comunidades sean tratados como partes interesadas, cuyas opiniones sean escuchadas y reflejadas en los procesos estatales para crear planes de implementación (en adelante “planes estatales”). Lo que es más, el Plan de Energía Limpia aborda las preocupaciones de los sindicatos en cuanto a la confiabilidad de nuestro sistema eléctrico, el período para su cumplimiento, y crédito por reducción de emisiones originadas por procesos industriales, como la cogeneración eléctrica y térmica.

Nuevas carreras en los sectores de energía renovable y eficiencia energética

En general, el Plan de Energía Limpia anticipa un mayor crecimiento de la capacidad de generación proveniente de energía limpia que la propuesta de regulación – 28 por ciento en el reglamento final, en comparación con 22 por ciento bajo la propuesta. Además, aunque la eficiencia energética ya no es un “pilar” para el establecimiento de metas estatales de reducción de carbono, el Plan de Energía Limpia aún proporciona fuertes incentivos para que los estados y las regiones implementen programas de eficiencia energética como mecanismo de cumplimiento.

Labor and the Clean Power Plan: More Jobs, More Justice

The final Clean Power Plan is structured to create thousands more new jobs in clean energy and energy efficiency, with incentives to create good jobs in vulnerable communities. It recommends robust standards to ensure that the new jobs lead to quality careers. The Clean Power Plan and related initiatives also contain vital protections for coal workers and communities. The EPA and DOE have both acted to help ensure that unions, affected workers, and their communities will be treated as stakeholders whose views are heard and reflected in the state processes to create implementation plans. What’s more, the plan addresses concerns from affected unions about ensuring our power system is reliable, the timeline for compliance, and emissions reduction credits for manufacturing processes such as combined heat and power.

EPA Updates 30-Year-Old Water Quality Standards

Thomas Cmar is an attorney with Earthjustice’s Coal program, based in Chicago, IL. This article was reposted with Earthjustice’s permission. Read the original post here. Read SACE’s statement here. We don’t use phones, drive cars or fly airplanes that were built based on 1982 safety standards, so why should we allow power plants to dump [...]

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.