WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, commended the final version of the Clean Power Plan released today by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Plan establishes emission guidelines for states to follow in developing plans to control carbon pollution from existing power plants. These plants are the largest source of carbon pollution in the United States, and currently they can emit unlimited quantities of carbon pollution. The Clean Power Plan will help cut carbon pollution from the power sector by 32% in 2030.
“The Clean Power Plan is the single most significant step the U.S. has taken to reduce carbon pollution and take action on climate change,” said Congressman Pallone. “This historic Plan will cut energy costs for consumers, protect the health of our children and grandchildren, create jobs in the clean energy economy, and help mitigate the disastrous effects of climate change. Lives will be saved, and New Jersey and the entire country will benefit from this long-overdue rule.”
New Jersey citizens submitted 108,780 comments to EPA in support of the Clean Power Plan, under which New Jersey’s power plants will reduce carbon emissions by 10 million metric tons by 2025. In 2013, New Jersey’s electric power sector emitted 16 million metric tons of carbon, equivalent to the yearly pollution of over 3 million cars. Furthermore, New Jersey’s five dirtiest power plants combined make up 58% of New Jersey’s power sector emissions.
The Clean Power Plan is the first federal requirement to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. If complied with, through a program like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), it can have significant and positive economic and environmental impacts. From Maine to Maryland, nine states currently participate in RGGI in an effort to reduce carbon emissions. Unfortunately, Governor Chris Christie has withdrawn New Jersey from participation in the program.
“In New Jersey, we have seen first-hand the detrimental impacts Governor Christie’s decision to leave a program that would help reduce carbon pollution, support economic development, and help the state comply with the Clean Power Plan,” continued Pallone. “I am glad that the final Clean Power Plan will directly address the negative impacts of power plants to public health and pollution in our state.”