Conservationists: Clean Power Plan Will Help Protect PA Natural Resources
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
PITTSBURGH – A plan for reducing carbon pollution in the U.S. has been finalized by the Obama administration. The EPA's Clean Power Plan, released Monday, sets a 32 percent goal for cutting emissions from power plants by 2030.
Ed Perry, Pennsylvania coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation's Climate Change Campaign, calls the plan a "flexible, science-based" rule. He says he's confident it will create "real progress" in protecting natural resources.
"Climate scientists say we need to reduce carbon pollution by 80 percent by the year 2050," he says. "So this is a big step in that direction."
Pennsylvania is the fourth-largest coal producer in the country, and according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, receives 36 percent of its electricity from coal. Monday's rollout of the Clean Energy Plan was met with a backlash of legal opposition, with utilities and political leaders in some states saying tougher rules will be an economic hardship.
Perry points to the wooly adelgid as a prime example of how a changing climate is harming some species. As winters have warmed, Perry says the insect has moved north, decimating hemlock trees in Pennsylvania.
"If we don't take action to reduce carbon pollution, we are going to see our state fish, the brook trout, the state bird, the rough grouse, and our state tree, the hemlock, gone from Pennsylvania by the year 2100," he says.
A coalition of environmental, clean energy, public health, labor and faith groups predicts the Clean Power Plan will provide up to $45 billion in climate and health-related benefits.
Jeaneen Zappa, executive director of Pittsburgh-based Conservation Consultants, one of the coalition organizations, says a new focus on cleaner power and energy efficiency will also lower electric bills.
"Energy efficiency is the simplest, and cheapest, first step to better financial health and grid health, and to reduce carbon footprint," she says.
Last year, renewable energy accounted for just four percent of Pennsylvania's net electricity generation.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
Most people probably never give a second thought to their visits to the dentist, but not everyone can navigate this process with ease. People with …
Christmas is a little more than two weeks away, and toy drives around the country are in full swing. A North Dakota organizer shares some things to …
A federal judge in Nevada has dealt three tribal nations a legal setback in their efforts to stop what could be the construction of the country's larg…
Hoosiers could get their holiday trees from any of about 200 tree farms in the state, according to the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association…
Reports from the Insurance Commissioner's office and the state Attorney General reveal an analysis of what they call "the true costs of health care" i…
Health and Wellness
The holiday season is filled with recipes passed down from years before, and feasting with family and friends. But think again before you have …
While lawmakers and environmental groups strive to lower vehicle emissions and the nation's carbon footprint, many truckers see unrealistic …
Another controversial move in Florida's education system is a proposal to drop sociology, the study of social life and the causes and consequences of …