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Commonwealth Sustainable Biz Backers Hail “Bold” EPA Move

PHOTO: The Obama administration’s tough new requirements to limit carbon pollution from new power plants are being hailed as “bold” by some business leaders in Massachusetts.
PHOTO: The Obama administration’s tough new requirements to limit carbon pollution from new power plants are being hailed as “bold” by some business leaders in Massachusetts.
September 23, 2013

BOSTON - Linking global warming to disease, extreme weather and other environmental problems, the EPA has set the first national limits on heat-trapping pollution from future power plants. The standard is stricter than one proposed a year ago, and Michael Green of Boston's Climate Action Liason Coalition welcomes it.

"It's really a pretty bold step," he said. "That's not something that we've necessarily been used to hearing or seeing from this administration, so this is a great road to progress here."

He said Massachusetts is a leader in pushing for renewable energy.

According to former EPA Administrator Carol Browner, power plants account for about 40 percent of the carbon pollution in the U.S., so putting in place sensible, cost-effective requirements is very important.

"What's clear and what the science tells us is that if we continue to release these dangerous pollutants into the air there are consequences, and the good news is there are steps we can take to reduce carbon pollution."

Advocates for sustainable business practices, such as Green's coalition, continue to push for a state law that would levy a fee on carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere from the use of fossil fuels.

"We're one of the states that's leading the fight for implementing a carbon tax," Green said. "And I think that has a huge potential to be the next step where Massachusetts can be a leader for the nation."

Green declared that coal should be in the rear-view mirror.

"A majority of our major utilities are moving away from coal facilities. I mean, here in New England, we haven't had a coal facility proposed in a couple of decades," he pointed out.

The coal industry and some Republicans in Washington say the new standard amounts to a ban on any new coal-fired power plants.



Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - MA