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EPA Proposes Rule to Reduce Carbon Pollution in WV

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 The United States Environmental Protection Agency took historic action in June in effort to protect the climate. They introduced the first-ever standards to reduce the carbon pollution from power plants.

Speakers from the West Virginia University College of Law and the Sierra Club met at the WVU Engineering building Tuesday evening to give an overview of this rule and discuss its importance here in West Virginia.

“The EPA has put forward a clean power plan which sets a target for every state to reduce the emissions of carbon pollution, which are threatening our climate in West Virginia,” says Mary Anne Hitt, Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign Director. “We have the opportunity to meet our states target by clean energy, like wind, solar, and energy efficiency which this state can use more of and also create a lot of jobs.”

Not only will this rule contribute to greenhouse gas reductions, the EPA estimates that it will lead to climate and health benefits, as well. They are even estimating it could avoid 2,700-6,660 premature deaths as well as 140,000-150,000 asthma attacks in children.

West Virginia really is behind the rest of the country in how much wind and solar and energy efficiency we have online. So, this new EPA clean power plan which sets goals for reducing our carbon emissions from the power sector really gives us a great opportunity to increase our clean energy, increase energy efficiency, and diversify our energy mix here in the state,” said Hitt.

If you want to get involved, there are a number of things you can do. You can write a letter to the editor of your local paper supporting this rule, or you could even send a letter to Governor Tomblin and ask that he start making energy efficiency a bigger part of West Virginia’s plan. You also could attend a public hearing, like the one held Tuesday night.

For more information on this rule or how you can make difference, you can visit the Sierra Club’s website, sierraclub.org.