Pennsylvanians Rally to Support EPA’s Bold Climate Proposal: Over 20,000 Comments Delivered

State Senator Vincent HughesState Senator Vincent Hughes /Photo courtesy of PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

PHILADELPHIA, PA — As the public input period closes for a new climate proposal from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), environmental, community, and faith advocates gathered outside the agency’s local office to deliver more than 20,000 comments from concerned Pennsylvanians in support of EPA’s proposal to dramatically reduce global warming pollution from dirty power plants. Collectively, more than 1 million Americans spoke up in support of the rule.

“From record heat waves to soaring air pollution from wildfires, the  impacts of climate change have never been more apparent,” said Zachary Barber, clean air advocate for the PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center. “Given these threats, today’s show of support for EPA’s effort to rein in climate pollution from power plants shows that Pennsylvanians from all walks of life want bold action to limit climate pollution.”

The PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center also submitted a letter signed by more than 80 Pennsylvania elected officials, including nearly 30 state legislators and more than 50 municipal officials, in support of the Biden EPA proposal.

“We just experienced the hottest month in the history of the planet,” said State Senator Vincent Hughes, who signed the letter. “We’re saying to the world: we have to deal with climate change, and we have to do it now.”

The final day for public input on EPA’s draft proposal is Tuesday, August 8. The new plan put forth by the (EPA) would make huge strides toward tackling global warming pollution by limiting climate-warming carbon emissions from coal- and some gas-fired power plants, the second largest source of climate pollution in the nation and the single-largest source of climate pollution in Pennsylvania. It’s estimated that the proposal would eliminate up to 617 million tons of global warming pollution by 2042, which is equivalent to halting the annual climate emissions of half of all cars in the U.S.

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Rabbi Nathan Martin
Rabbi Nathan Martin /Photo courtesy of PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

“The preeminent Jewish value is pikuah nefesh, the saving of a life. Strong regulation of power plants and other pollution sources save lives, and particularly lives of people who live near these polluting sources,” said Rabbi Nathan Martin of Media’s Congregation Beth Israel. “We Pennsylvanians need to count on the EPA and the Biden Administration to be reliable and accountable partners to implement the strongest carbon emission rules possible to protect our health and live out our most important values.”

While supportive of the rule, advocates also laid out ways to maximize the proposal’s climate benefit, including putting the pollution limits into effect sooner and closing loopholes that would allow a dozen gas plants in Pennsylvania to continue polluting unchecked.

“For too long, Pennsylvania has been a big part of the climate pollution problem,” said Barber. “This rule can help make Pennsylvania a part of the solution by reining in the state’s biggest climate culprits.

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