Groundbreaking Rule Will Limit Carbon Emissions

Every year, our nation’s fossil fuel-fired power plants dump 2.4 billion tons of carbon emissions into our air, accounting for 40% of our nation’s carbon footprint. Carbon dioxide is a known heat-trapping gas and one of the leading causes of climate change. The U.S. has set limits on other harmful emissions like arsenic, mercury, sulfur, lead, and cyanide, but astonishingly, there are no limits for carbon emissions.

Until now. On June 2nd, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the first-ever limits on carbon emissions from existing power plants, promising to reduce carbon pollution by 30% by 2030. The strength of this proposed rule depends on support and involvement from across the country, to chart a course toward a cleaner, healthier, more vital future. Add your voice to our petition supporting this rule!

The rule assigns each state with its own percentage reduction goal. It is critically important that reduction plans are achievable, so targets are higher for states like Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, and Arizona, which have high concentrations of renewable resources that have yet to be fully utilized. Opportunities to increase efficiency and reduce electricity demand are also criteria used by the EPA to set targets.

The proposal will allow each state to develop their own strategy to achieve necessary reductions. It is expected that tools like energy efficiency and renewable energy will be used to help drive billions of tons of carbon emissions reductions.

Fortunately, curbing carbon emissions will create new opportunities for the towns and communities that you and I call home. Limits on carbon pollution are projected to create 274,000 new jobs – many of those jobs will bring new tax income to small towns and rural communities, for roads, fire and police departments, schools, and other public services.

Coal-fired power plants are becoming less competitive and more costly to operate. They compromise the health and well being of communities and use billions of gallons of our limited water supply. Cutting carbon emissions promises to protect critical resources and keep hard-earned dollars closer to home.

By 2030, cutting carbon emissions will shrink electricity bills by roughly 8% by increasing energy efficiency, reducing demand in the electricity system, and encouraging the use of cheaper, cleaner resources. Those savings are good news for anyone who buys electricity – farmers, ranchers, small business owners, schools, churches, and households.

By 2030, 6,600 premature deaths will be prevented and up to 150,000 asthma attacks in children will be avoided. Limiting carbon will provide an estimated $93 billion in climate and health benefits, while ensuring cleaner air and water and protecting the health of rural communities and small towns.

For the next four months, the EPA will be accepting comments on the proposed rule. Join us by voicing your support for carbon limits. We're aiming to collect 11,000 signatures on our petition, which will be submitted as comments to Administrator McCarthy and the EPA. The health and vitality of rural communities and small towns is worth protecting. Please add your name in support.