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In Defense of the Clean Power Plan

Supporters of the Clean Power Plan contend limiting carbon pollution from power plants is critical for public health. (Pixabay)
Supporters of the Clean Power Plan contend limiting carbon pollution from power plants is critical for public health. (Pixabay)
April 4, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A group that includes public health experts, faith leaders, elected officials and environmental advocates have filed statements in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington is considering a case brought by industry groups and 27 states, including Missouri, to block the measure, which would implement the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants.

Janice Nolen, assistant vice president for national policy with the American Lung Association, says the new rules are critical to addressing climate change.

"The weather pattern changes where you've got more flooding or more disease spread to things that we're particularly focused on like the air pollution issues,” she points out. “All of those are widely understood as huge impacts for public health that we have to get a handle on now."

The plan calls for reducing carbon pollution from existing coal-fired power plants by 32 percent below their 2005 levels by 2030.

Opponents say power plants would have to make big investments to comply with rules that might be overturned, depending on the outcome of the next election.

The federal appeals court is expected to rule on the case later this year.

Caleb Arthur, founder and CEO of Sun Solar, says people are beginning to realize renewable energy makes sense.

"Solar panels don't generate any kind of pollution whatsoever,” he states. “They have a 25 year warranty, and there's panels in Europe that are still producing power after 40 years, so something that's going to be very long term."

Arthur says once Missourians realize how much money they can save, the "coal vs. renewable energy" issue flies out the window.

"What we're seeing is that conservatives and Democrats alike are hopping on the solar bandwagon, and the reason is, it just makes money sense,” he points out. “There's money savings behind it."

According to the EPA, the plan will produce up to $54 billion in climate and health benefits, and prevent 3,600 premature deaths and 90,000 asthma attacks each year by 2030.


Veronica Carter/Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - MO