Obama to reveal new rules on clean power plan TODAY! #StayTuned #ClimateChange

From the Guardian:

Obama’s clean power plan hailed as US’s strongest ever climate action

Hundreds of businesses including eBay, Nestle and General Mills have issued their support for Barack Obama’s clean power plan, billed as the strongest action ever on climate change by a US president.

The rules, being announced on Monday, are designed to cut emissions from power plants and have been strengthened in terms of the long-term ambition as originally proposed by the president last year, but slightly weakened in the short-term in a concession to states reliant on highly-polluting coal.

White House adviser Brian Deese said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules represented the “biggest step that any single president has made to curb the carbon pollution that is fuelling climate change”. The US is the world’s second biggest carbon emitter after China.

The rules are expected to trigger a “tsunami” of legal opposition from states and utilities who oppose the plans, which will significantly boost wind and solar power generation and force a switch away from coal power. Republican presidential hopefuls moved quickly to voice their opposition, saying they would be economically damaging.

But 365 businesses and investors wrote to 29 state governors to strongly support the rules, which they said would benefit the economy and create jobs.

Other signatories included Unilever, L’Oreal, Levi Strauss, L’Oreal, Staples, renewable energy company SunEdison and Trillium Asset Management, which manages $2.2bn in assets. It is the largest group of businesses to support the rules so far.

The final rules propose a 32% cut in carbon emissions from power plants by 2030 on 2005 levels, up from the initial proposal of 30%. However states will only have to comply by 2022 rather than 2020 as originally proposed, and will be able submit their plans on meeting the targets by 2018 instead of 2017.

Monday’s version of the rules also gives an explicit boost to wind and solar power, angering the natural gas industry which will still be a large beneficiary of the switch from coal to gas-fired power plants, which produce much lower emissions.

America’s Natural Gas Alliance, a trade body, said it was “disappointed and discouraged” by the rules. The Solar Energy Industries Association, on the other hand, said they were “historic” and “critically needed.”

The new rules will give a “give a head start to wind and solar deployment”, according to a White House fact sheet. “Drive more aggressive investment in clean energy technologies than the proposed rule, resulting in 30 % more renewable energy generation in 2030 and continuing to lower the costs of renewable energy,” it said.

Barack Obama, in a video address, emphasised the health benefits of reduced air pollution from coal plants, and a duty to future generations as reasons for the clean power rules.

“Power plants are the single biggest source of the harmful carbon pollution that contributes to climate change. But until now there have been no federal limits on the amount of that pollution those plants can dump into the air. Think about that,” he said.

Obama’s plan to bring in the rules to cut emissions from power plants – which account for a third of the US’s greenhouse gas emissions – date back to 2009 when the EPA declared carbon emissions a public danger, the first step towards regulating them.

The final rules are likely to be welcomed by the United Nations, which is hosting a climate summit in Paris at the end of the year to agree on deal on post-2020 curbs on emissions, as well as financing to help poorer countries deal with global warming.

Andrew Steer, president and CEO of the Washington DC-based thinktank the World Resources Institute, said: “The clean power plan should reassure international partners that the US administration is determined to deliver the 26-28% emissions reductions promised for 2025.

“Our analysis suggests that this rule can be implemented without technical or financial impediment, and in a manner that is likely to promote more, not less, economic prosperity.”

Gina McCarthy, the EPA’s administrator, said she believed the agency was on strong legal grounds for defending the rules from the legal challenges they are almost certain to face.

“Over the next few days we will hear the same tired old plays from the old special interests playbook,” said McCarthy.

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#Science Quotable: Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin educates Senator Mitch McConnell #ClimateChange

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Dear Majority Leader McConnell,

I disagree. Climate change is real. It’s a threat to humanity. We should be working harder to address it, not rolling back efforts to do so. I fully support the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan.

Sincerely,

Peter Shumlin
Governor of Vermont

More info on the letter and McConnell’s anti-EPA plan here.

Are you Climate Ready? Take the online @EPA Quiz! #ClimateSuperstar

EAP

The Environmental Protection Agency has a fun quiz about climate change: Are you Climate Ready? My answer to the question above, ALL THE TIME, seems fitting given the previous CauseScience posts about the scientific evidence supporting Climate Change. That answer, and a bunch of others, made me a Climate Superstar!!! What are you??

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Note: I also took the quiz a second time and answered as a climate science skeptic. In that case, there are difference designations that encourage you to learn more about climate change.

US EPA video about climate change. Be part of the solution #ActOnClimate

[tweet https://twitter.com/EPA/status/514410288956080128]

Climate Change: The Cost of Inaction

The Earth’s climate is changing at an unprecedented rate. Climate change is already having impacts on people’s lives across the country. It’s affecting many things that people care about including health, drinking water, food supplies, energy and a safe place to live.

We have an opportunity to slow the rate of climate change and anticipate, prepare and adapt to its impacts. Actions that every individual can take will make a difference.

For more information about the actions you can take to fight climate change, go to http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd
For more about EPA: http://www.epa.gov/
We accept comments according to our comment policy: http://blog.epa.gov/blog/comment-policy/

Check out the EPA’s interactive guide to Global Climate Change for students of all ages! #science

epastudent

The EPA has put together a great website about Global Climate Change for students, which is also great for adults! It includes a lot of interactive information about climate change, including CauseScience’s favorite part – Think Like A Scientist! with the bullets below:

There is also a nice introduction video:

Climate Change Basics

This video provides an introduction to the issue of climate change. The narration discusses the causes of modern-day climate change, signs that the climate is already changing, and how climate change affects the environment and human well-being. It concludes with information about how individuals and society at large can take steps to reduce the effects of climate change.

For more about EPA: http://www.epa.gov/

Learn about the environment YOU live in! The @EPA MyEnvironment tool has all the info for your location

myenviEPA

Check out MyEnvironment on the EPA website to get a ton of information about where you live and the environment. This intro website gives the details on what you can access, including Maps, Air, Water, Energy, Health, Land, Community, and Environmental Reports.

The MyEnvironment search application is designed to provide a cross-section of environmental information based on the user’s location.

The desired location is keyed in from the MyEnvironment entry page (www.epa.gov/myenvironment).

Wanna be an EPA administrator? See a ‘day in the life’ of Gina McCarthy #EPA

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Check out this feature on the EPA website that shows you photos and descriptions of what a day in EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is like. Looks like it is updated every few weeks with a new day in the life! See previous CauseScience posts on Gina McCarthy here.