U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) today issued the following statement after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled the White House proposal to curb carbon emissions from the nation's existing power plants:
Today's announcement represents a major step forward in our national effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change. I commend President Obama and EPA Administrator McCarthy for presenting the Clean Power Plan proposal, and I look forward to the benefits this plan will bring to those who live and work in New Jersey. We must be aggressive in our pursuit of reducing our carbon footprint -- nothing less than the quality of the air our children will breathe, and the climate in which they will live, is at stake. This is a common sense proposal that will empower states to do their part and contribute to the national goal of curbing emissions from power plants.
"I am also encouraged by the flexibility the administration's plan provides for each state to decide exactly how they will achieve our national goal to reduce emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030. In light of today's announcement, New Jersey should consider rejoining the successful Regional Green House Gas Initiative, which would allow us to reduce and offset our carbon emissions by making investments in clean energy. I am confident that New Jersey will achieve the goals presented today and remain a national leader in clean energy production."
Power plants account for roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. While there are limits in place for the level of arsenic, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particle pollution that power plants can emit, there are currently no national limits on carbon pollution levels. By 2030, the Clean Power Plan proposal has set goals that will: cut carbon emission from the power sector by 30 percent nationwide below 2005 levels, which is equal to the emissions from powering more than half the homes in the United States for one year; cut particle pollution, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide by more than 25 percent as a co-benefit; avoid up to 6,600 premature deaths, up to 150,000 asthma attacks in children, and up to 490,000 missed work or school days--providing up to $93 billion in climate and public health benefits; and shrink electricity bills roughly 8 percent by increasing energy efficiency and reducing demand in the electricity system.