美國環保署署長麥卡錫（ Gina McCarthy ）表示，這些標準將能確保新的電廠引進乾淨能源科技，以控制碳污染，也和目前在乾淨能源的投資相輔相成。美國環保署並已開始與各州、部落、地方政府、企業和勞工領導人以及非政府組織合作。
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today proposed the country’s first Clean Air Act standards to cut carbon pollution from new power plants to combat climate change and improve public health.
The newly proposed standards are meant to ensure that the power plants of the future use cleaner energy technologies, such as efficient natural gas, advanced coal technology, nuclear power, and renewable energy like wind and solar.
Power plants are the largest concentrated source of emissions in the United States, accounting for roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions. While the United States has limits in place for arsenic, mercury and lead pollution that power plants can emit, there are no national limits on the amount of carbon pollution new or existing power plants can emit.
Today’s proposal achieves the first milestone of President Barack Obama’s June 25 Memorandum to the EPA on “Power Sector Carbon Pollution Standards”.
To establish carbon pollution standards for existing power plants and build on state efforts to move toward a cleaner power sector, EPA has begun to work with state, tribal, and local governments, industry and labor leaders and nonprofits.
Today’s proposal sets separate standards for new gas-fired and coal-fired power plants.
New large natural gas-fired turbines would need to meet a limit of 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour, while new small natural gas-fired turbines would need to meet a limit of 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour.
New coal-fired units would have to meet a limit of 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour, and would have the option to meet a somewhat tighter limit if they choose to average emissions over multiple years, which would giving those units more operational flexibility.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said these proposed standards will ensure that new power plants are built with available clean technology to limit carbon pollution, a requirement that is in line with investments in clean energy technologies that are already being made in the power industry.
Senator Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee, supports the proposed standards. “EPA’s proposed standard for new power plants is a critical and appropriate step forward in addressing the biggest source of carbon pollution.”
But some Republicans in Congress are opposed.
One Congressman blamed carbon dioxide emissions from natural sources, such as plants and oceans, to argue that human activity is not the problem. Another congressman claimed that the Earth is not warming, despite the evidence from scientific institutions across the world.
On Thursday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, a coal-producing state, called the proposed rule “devastating” and announced his intent to file a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to stop the EPA from imposing its new regulation by ensuring a vote to repeal it.
Environmental groups applauded the proposed carbon emissions standards.
Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp said, “As communities across our country struggle with terrible floods, droughts, and wildfires, these standards will finally put a limit on the carbon pollution that new power plants emit into our skies.”
The NAACP today commended the EPA for its proposal, saying communities of color suffer the worst effects of carbon pollution from power plants.
Said Jacqueline Patterson, director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program. “Forty percent of all energy-related emissions of greenhouse gases in 2012 came from power plants, and most of that came from coal-burning power plants. This pollution has the most harmful effect on low-income communities and communities of color.”
Currently, nearly a dozen states have already implemented or are implementing their own market-based programs to reduce carbon pollution. In addition, more than 25 states have set energy efficiency targets, and more than 35 have set renewable energy targets.