Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06), member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power, member of the Bicameral Climate Task Force and Safe Climate Caucus, and vice-chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), issued the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) draft proposal to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants:
"I am pleased that the Administration today took a big step forward in turning the tide of dangerous climate change by placing sensible limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants. California has already taken bold steps to combat climate change, and it is past time for our nation as a whole to tackle climate change.
"Climate change is already threatening our communities and the risks will only get worse if we don't take action. In 2012 alone, the cost of weather disasters exceeded $110 billion in the United States. In California, our entire state is in a historic drought. Climate change will only increase the frequency and intensity of these events, unless we take action now. It is our responsibility to do all we can to protect this and future generations.
"The EPA has successfully set sensible limits on mercury, soot, arsenic, and other toxins while supporting continued economic growth. Stopping power plants from dumping unlimited amounts of dangerous carbon pollution into the air is no different. This is a public health risk and we cannot wait any longer. EPA's flexible approach will empower states to develop custom solutions to meeting this national challenge through cooperation, innovation, and a shared commitment to a cleaner, safer, healthier future for all Americans."
Carbon emissions from human activities, such as power generation, are the principal driver of climate change. Power plants are responsible for 40 percent of U.S. carbon emissions, representing our nation's single largest source of carbon pollution. The standards proposed by EPA would reduce carbon pollution 25 percent by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030.