Governor Tom Corbett released the following statement regarding new regulations issued today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding carbon emissions.
“As Pennsylvanians, we are doing our fair share to reduce carbon emissions, and we have made great strides in recent years. While we continue to review the EPA’s proposed rulemaking in detail, I am concerned that these new mandates will eventually shut down hundreds of coal-fired power plants across the country and destroy thousands of family-sustaining jobs. Those reports, if true, are unacceptable.
“In Pennsylvania, nearly 63,000 men and women, including 8,100 miners, work in jobs supported by the coal industry. Anything that seeks to or has the effect of shutting down coal-fired power plants is an assault on Pennsylvania jobs, consumers, and those citizens who rely upon affordable, abundant domestic energy.
“Our commitment to Pennsylvania’s coal industry does not mean we have to sacrifice clean air. Quite the contrary, greenhouse gas emissions today are at levels we haven’t seen since 1994. The United States is leading the world in reducing carbon emissions – a significant accomplishment brought about by our commitment to environmental protection, advancements in new technology and the power of a free market.
“We have been proactive in Pennsylvania by outlining our common-sense approach to reduce emissions in a recent white paper that we shared with the EPA. We will review the EPA’s latest proposed rulemaking in detail to see if the Obama Administration took seriously their professed commitment to public input.
In April 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) submitted a white paper to the EPA, urging federal officials to consider state differences and needed flexibility when developing emissions guidelines addressing carbon dioxide (CO2) standards for existing fossil fuel-fired power stations. The department’s white paper presents an innovative and flexible framework for achieving lower CO2 emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants and urges the EPA to preserve the authority and discretion of states in the development and implementation of emission control programs.
To read the white paper, visit www.dep.state.pa.us, and click on “Air,” then “Bureau of Air Quality.”
Additionally, Corbett noted that the DEP submitted its Climate Change Action Plan to the governor and General Assembly in December. The plan includes a comprehensive review of the state of climate change in Pennsylvania, including emission trends and recommendations to further reduce emissions going forward.