American Businesses Support the EPA’s Carbon Pollution Standards
On June 14th, 2023 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a virtual public hearing on the proposed rule to cut climate pollution from fossil fuel-fired power plants. American Sustainable Business Network’s (ASBN) Director of Climate and Energy Policy, Michael Green testified on behalf of ASBN to provide a business perspective supporting this regulation. If passed, this proposed rule would cut carbon pollution nearly 617 million metric tons through 2042. To put into perspective, this is equivalent to taking 137 million passenger vehicles off the road for a year (about half the cars in the United States).
The rule targets power plants, which are known widely as the second most polluting economic sector in the U.S.. The first is transportation. Reductions in carbon emissions are necessary for the U.S. to make progress towards the ambitious carbon reduction goals that have been set by the current administration to protect our planet from the ever growing dangers of the climate crisis. New solar and wind energy plants are more economical to build and run than any of the existing coal power plants. Additionally, renewable energy plants are cheaper than new natural gas-fired plants, and soon may be cheaper than existing natural gas plants as well.
In his testimony, Michael highlighted the importance of clean electricity to support businesses small and large as we transition to a carbon-free future. A clean energy transition will provide $85 billion in net climate and public health benefits over the next two decades and will strengthen the health and wellbeing of people, the planet, and the economy.
The EPA is proposing regulation of pollution from power plants as the agency’s authority to act in this area was reaffirmed by the 2022 Supreme Court ruling in West Virginia v. EPA, and from the landmark Inflation Reduction Act. The EPA is tasked with upholding the Clean Air Act and it is necessary for the agency to regulate the energy sector further to protect the clean air standards mandate from harmful carbon dioxide emissions.
This proposal is one of the most important potential climate and energy rules coming from the EPA this year. Business support goes a long way in dispelling false narratives and ensuring that the extractive industries that have so long been in control do not continue to dismantle important progress in climate protections, human health, and economic success. The deadline to support this ruling is Tuesday, August 8, 2023.
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Michael Green, American Sustainable Business Network Full Testimony, June 14th 2023
My name is Mike Green and I’m from Woodstock Vermont, the Green Mountain state. I am the Director of Climate and Energy Policy for the American Sustainable Business Network.
American Sustainable Business Network (ASBN) is a movement builder in partnership with the business and investor community. ASBN develops and advocates solutions for policymakers, business leaders, and investors that support an equitable, regenerative, and just economy that benefits all?—people and planet with over 250,000 businesses across our networks.
I am here to express my strong support for the Biden Administration’s proposed standards to cut climate pollution from coal- and natural gas-fired power plants. EPA’s proposal is a critically important step forward, and I encourage the agency to achieve greater cuts to pollution from more sources on the fastest possible timelines in recognition of the threat of climate change. The administration must also take action to support businesses big and small in making this transition to a carbon free future and providing clean electricity is critical to this end.
As proposed, these standards would slash carbon pollution by 617 million metric tons, provide up to $85 billion in net climate and public health benefits. On an annual basis, the standards would avoid 1,300 premature deaths, 800 hospital and ER visits, more than 300,000 asthma attacks, 38,000 school absences, and 66,000 lost work days. The public health benefits don’t just mean healthier communities but also will build a healthier economy.
Climate change is also driving more frequent and intense extreme weather events. From hurricanes to heat waves to wildfires to flooding, businesses across the country are experiencing the impacts of the climate crisis firsthand on our workforce, supply chain and daily operations. There is not an independent business community in this country that is not already feeling the impact of the climate crisis.
Just last week we saw these impacts from the North stretch all the way down here to DC. The time for ambitious action is now.
Our climate can’t wait and our business community stands ready to support this rule and future actions by the EPA to do what is needed. The EPA must act as soon as possible to finalize the strongest possible standards to cut climate pollution from power plants.