Tell EPA to Support Strong Carbon Standards
Last week, South Korea announced it is establishing a cap-and-trade system to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Zimbabwe recently began crafting national climate policy that would address how to strategically deal with the broad impacts of rising carbon levels. Contrast these examples with what is happening here in Washington, D.C.: Congress failed to pass comprehensive climate legislation in 2009, and it has done little since then to recoup efforts toward reducing U.S. carbon emissions.
However, in March, the EPA took a historic step toward developing climate policy by proposing safeguards to limit carbon emissions from new power plants. Your voice is needed now to support the proposed protections and defend the carbon limits from Members of Congress and industry who seek to weaken or override them.
Specifically, the carbon rule, also called the New Source Performance Standards, will prevent any new power plant from emitting more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt of electricity produced. With conventional coal plants currently emitting more than 1,800 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt, limits on carbon pollution are long overdue. But despite the moral, economic and environmental reasons that demand we swiftly reduce our nation’s carbon emissions, some Members of Congress have sought to override or block the rule’s implementation – which is why submitting your comment to the EPA is so important today.
Carbon dioxide is a threat to the health and well-being of communities across the United States and the world, leading to increased levels of asthma, increased ozone levels, and more frequent and severe heat waves. These impacts have been shown to disproportionately affect communities of color, youth, the elderly and those living in poverty, despite the fact that these communities are least responsible for the increased level of carbon dioxide emissions, as they use less energy and electricity than others.
As Jews, we are called from the earliest verses of Torah to be good stewards of the Earth, including our climate, water and air, and to protect our health and the well-being of our neighbors. In Midrash we are told, “Take care, lest you spoil and destroy my world, because if you do, there is no one after you to make it right again” (Kohelet Rabbah 7:13). Now is the time to speak out for climate justice and show support for the EPA carbon standard.
Tell EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson that you support the New Source Performance Standards and the agency’s efforts to reduce carbon pollution and develop climate change policy. Submit your comment to the EPA today!
Image courtesy of the New York Times/Kodda/Shutterstock.