Press Release

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New Carbon Pollution Standards for Power Plants are Reasonable, Protect Future Generations of Ohioans

Brennan Howell, June 2, 2014

The following statement on the Obama Administration’s proposed carbon pollution standards can be attributed to Brennan Howell, Director of Clean Energy and Climate Campaigns for the Ohio Environmental Council:

“The Obama Administration’s proposed carbon pollution standards are reasonable limitations on existing power plants that will protect future generations of Ohioans from the worst impacts of global warming.

With these rules, Ohio will see three big benefits: some relief from unchecked carbon pollution emitted by Ohio’s aging coal-fired power fleet, cleaner air, and opportunities to grow more clean energy jobs. These standards could not have come at a better time.

When fully implemented the rule will produce between $48 billion to $82 billion in total public health and environmental benefits and will help prevent an estimated 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths and between 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks a year in the United States.

As proposed, the standards give Ohio regulators the flexibility to choose among several cost-effective options for reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants; options which include increasing the use of wind and solar power, making homes and businesses more energy efficient, and improving the efficiency of existing  power plants.

Ohio is already making a lot of progress as a result of increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy resources. Over 500 megawatts of wind energy – enough to power 180,000 Ohio homes – are installed in Ohio and Ohio is 16th in the nation for installed solar capacity. Ohio can continue to make progress by increasing the use of renewable energy, encouraging greater deployment of combined heat and power by commercial and industrial facilities; and improving the efficiency of in-state coal-fired power plants.

There is no reason why Ohio cannot comply with the new federal standards and continue to benefit from a transition to an economy powered by clean energy.  In Ohio alone, over 25,000 Ohioans work in a clean energy industry and over one million tons of carbon dioxide have been prevented from entering the atmosphere as a result of existing state clean energy policies.

Limiting carbon pollution from existing power plants is a good step forward for Ohio. The Ohio Environmental Council looks forward to working with the Ohio EPA and other interested stakeholders to ensure the final rule protects the health and welfare of future generations while also continuing to grow the clean energy economy in Ohio.” 

Contact: Brennan Howell (614) 487-5825 (office) (440)781-7509 (cell)