What About Pollution

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EPA’

Report finds illegal use of diesel in fracking fluid, highlights problems with FracFocus

Matthew McFeeley, Attorney, Washington, D.C. Last week, the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) released a report which found that companies had disclosed using diesel fuel in fracking in 12 states.  The use of diesel fuel as a component of fracking fluid is illegal without a permit under the Safe Drinking Water Act, and none of the companies had permits for its use. EIP also found that many of the reported incidents of diesel use had later been scrubbed from submissions which companies made to FracFocus, a website where fracking chemicals are disclosed to the public. At least 33 different companies reported using diesel fuel in fracking at least 351 wells, according to EIP.  The use of diesel is a serious concern. … Read More

The cheapest way to cut climate pollution? Energy efficiency

By EDF Blogs This blog post was co-authored by Lauren Navarro, California Senior Manager, Clean Energy and Kate Zerrenner, an EDF project manager and expert on energy efficiency and climate change. On June 2, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made a historic announcement that will change how we make, move and use electricity for generations to come. For the first time in history, the government proposed limits on the amount of carbon pollution American fossil-fueled power plants are allowed to spew into the atmosphere. There are two clear winners to comply with the plan while maintaining commitment to electric reliability and affordability: energy efficiency and demand response. We’re already seeing pushback from some of our nation’s big polluter states, such as West Virginia and Texas. But… Read More

Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act — Cooperative Federalism and Performance-Based Standards

By Megan Ceronsky One year ago this June, President Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop Carbon Pollution Standards for existing power plants — a key component of his Climate Action Plan. The President charged EPA with launching the effort “through direct engagement with States, as they will play a central role in establishing and implementing standards for existing power plants.” Congress laid the groundwork for this dynamic federal-state collaboration in 1970 when it provided for national environmental performance standards for sectors that are major sources of dangerous air pollution. Under this program  (Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act) EPA identifies the “best system of emission reduction” available to address dangerous air pollution from existing pollution… Read More

Hundreds of Thousands Support Standards to Ensure a Healthy Low-Carbon Future

By Mandy Warner This is a fact that always stuns people: There are currently no national limits whatsoever on carbon pollution from U.S. power plants, the single largest source of this pollution in the country. But last year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposal that could change that fact for future power plants. EPA’s proposal would set America’s first-ever national carbon pollution standards for future power plants – a major victory in the fight against climate change. The Carbon Pollution Standards for New Power Plants are an absolutely necessary, common sense step toward limiting the pollution emitted through our country’s power generation. These standards will help protect our children from harmful smog, curb respiratory problems, and shield our… Read More

The way forward to kicking our carbon addiction

By Keith Gaby Photo credit: Billy Wilson cc How would you respond to an upsetting medical diagnosis? Probably first with shock and fear, then you’d ask the doctor about realistic treatment options. That’s how it works for an individual, but what about when seven billion people get the bad news at the same time? That’s what happened yesterday, when the White House released another troubling National Climate Assessment (NCA). It described a condition that’s going to get significantly worse without intervention – with troubling symptoms already apparent. Now, to be fair, this NCA wasn’t really news in the “I didn’t see that coming” sense. Just like a patient who has been told to stop smoking for years, there has been plenty of… Read More

Toxic mercury pollution limits survive major court challenge

By Pamela Campos (This post was co-authored by Pamela Campos, Attorney, and Mandy Warner, Climate & Air Policy Specialist) Some environmental threats are hard to explain. Toxic mercury is not. A dangerous neurotoxin that threatens young children, developing babies, and others, almost everyone reacts viscerally at the idea of ingesting it. And the scientific evidence endorses that instinctive response. That’s why today’s decision by a federal court to uphold the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics rule is cause for celebration. For decades, power plants have been spewing out mercury. It ends up in our lakes and rivers, in fish, and ultimately in our bodies. It’s been closing favorite fishing holes and, more ominously, delaying mental development for our children.… Read More

Energy Efficiency and Carbon Pollution Standards: Double Dividends for Climate and Consumers

By Tomas Carbonell The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has embarked on a vital effort — accompanied by extensive outreach to states, power companies, environmental organizations, and other stakeholders, including you — to establish the nation’s first limits on carbon pollution from fossil fuel-fired power plants. EPA was directed to take this critical step for public health and the environment in the President’s Climate Action Plan that was released last summer. Protective and well-designed Carbon Pollution Standards will provide important benefits for all Americans. Fossil fuel-fired power plants emit 40 percent of the nation’s carbon pollution, as well as significant amounts of mercury, acid gases, and pollutants that contribute to smog and particulates. That’s why it is critical to… Read More