EPA’s National Carbon Pollution Standards

EPA's National Carbon Pollution Standards

On June 2, the EPA and President Barack Obama released a proposal that will set the first-ever national carbon pollution standards limits for existing U.S. power plants. Is this move all about politics or is this simply the right thing to do?

I have my own opinions about climate change and the impact that we have on the environment with carbon emissions. After doing my own research, something that I’d highly recommend each and every one of you do, my conclusions are somewhat divided down the political middle. I don’t subscribe to the “global warming” theory as an event that is solely caused by carbon emissions, but do believe that climate change exists as a combination of the natural cycle of the earth’s climate with some impact from from carbon pollution.

I’m not a big fan of President Obama’s politics, but there is some merit to the statements he made in his introductory remarks announcing the EPA ruling.

“We limit the amount of toxic chemicals like mercury, sulfur, and arsenic that power plants put in our air and water,” Obama said. “But they can dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the air. It’s not smart, it’s not safe, and it doesn’t make sense.”

I also like the statement made by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy stated, “For the sake of our families’ health and our kids’ future, we have a moral obligation to act on climate.”  It’s hard for anyone to argue that looking out for our families and future generations has a downside.

At the end of the day, the American people are concerned about air and water pollution, and largely trust the E.P.A., a national surveys says. Like most Americans, I’m concerned about air and water pollution, and I believe that we have a duty and obligation to find ways to protect the environment that we live in. Is the EPA ruling the best and only way to solve the problem? I’m not sure that’s the case, but it is something that the utility companies across the U.S. will have to deal with one way or another. Some have been preparing for this for years and are already ahead of the game. Others continue to fight. What do you think?

Scott Van Kerkhove is the CEO of EnergyWise and writes on issues surrounding energy management, energy efficiency and sustainability.

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