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Over 200,000 Virginians Comment on EPA Plan to Reduce Carbon Pollution


Thursday, November 13, 2014   

RICHMOND, Va. – More than 200,000 Virginians have voiced their support for an Environmental Protection Agency plan to reduce carbon pollution linked to climate change.

The comments were stacked in cases at the state Capitol Wednesday.

Bob Keefe, executive director of the small business owner and investor group Environmental Entrepreneurs, says support for the clean power plan is broad and deep in Virginia.

"These comments include moms, they include environmentalists and they include a lot of business people and others,” he points out. “Virginia wants its leaders to act on climate change by cutting carbon pollution and by increasing clean energy."

Keefe points out a recent survey his organization did of small business people in the state found 6 in 10 agreed that cutting carbon would be good for the state economy.

The climate change rules in question would cut carbon emissions from existing power plants.

Some in the coal and oil industries have said the EPA plan would raise the cost of electricity and hurt the economy.

But according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 80 percent of Virginia's coast is at high risk of sea-level rise.

Keefe says climate-related severe weather costs state taxpayers $2.3 billion in 2012. And he says that's just going to get worse.

"There are churches in places like Hampton Roads that now have to plan their services around when high tide is and when low tide is because they'll get flooded out otherwise," he says.

On the other hand, Keefe says energy efficiency could save Virginia business $500 billion dollars through 2020.

He adds his group – E-2 – was established in California when that state was considering the first carbon pollution limits aimed at slowing climate change. He says the opposition was intense.

"This was going to be the end of the California economy and it was going to send America to hell in a hand basket,” he relates. “Well, guess what? That didn't happen. As a matter of fact, the economy got stronger and continued to grow."

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