My message to Pennsylvania representatives: Stop posturing about the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.
Forty-one states are cooperating to achieve carbon reductions.
Our legislators should do the right thing for our state and comply.
EPA’s Clean Power Plan mandates reducing Pennsylvania carbon emissions by 32 percent, providing the push needed to drastically cut coal use.
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Many Pennsylvania utilities have made the switch to natural gas. But despite its clean-fuel reputation, natural gas is methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Leaks at the well make it as carbon-dioxide polluting as coal.
The lowest compliance costs and biggest carbon reductions and jobs creation come from emphasizing energy-efficiency solar, and wind.
Our representatives wave the red flag of job losses, but this is bogus. Most coal used in Pennsylvania is mined out of state. Due to mechanized extraction, coal-related jobs have been drastically reduced. Renewable, clean energy, energy-efficiency and conservation are huge job creators: 3.4 million were employed in this sector in 2011.
EPA’s mandate could create more than 234,000 new jobs.
Furthermore, extraction methods for coal and natural gas sicken workers and residents, destroy water quality, create a toxin trail and disfigure once-beautiful landscapes.
Reducing pollution from power plants would avoid up to 150,000 asthma attacks in children and 6,600 premature deaths a year.
Clean energy and conservation strengthen our health and our environment.
We don’t need protectionism for carbon-intensive fuel sources. We need an energy policy that protects our future.