Today, President Obama released his Clean Power Plan, a first-of-its-kind plan to cut carbon pollution from the nation’s power plants. The effort to limit carbon from power plants was lead by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, who lead a similar effort in Massachusetts that forced the clean up of Massachusetts coal plants.
According to the Center for American Progress:
The Clean Power Plan is the most ambitious action yet taken in the United States to slow global warming, and is a key part of the president’s strategy in the global fight against climate change. A draft version of the plan was released last summer and the final version responds to more than 4.3 million comments from states, utilities, communities, and more. Here are a few key things to know about the finalized rule:
- 40 percent: Carbon-dioxide pollution is the leading contributor to climate change and power plants produce the largest amount of carbon-dioxide emissions in the United States, making up about 40 percent of all carbon pollution in the country.
- 32 percent: Under the finalized version of the Clean Power Plan, states will be required to reduce carbon pollution by 32 percent from 2005 levels—a nine percent increase from the previous target.
- $93 billion: The projected benefits far outweigh the costs of implementing the plan. The Clean Power Plan will lead to climate and health benefits of up to $93 billion by 2030.
- $85: The average American family will see annual savings of $85 on their energy bill in 2030, and between 2020 and 2030 consumers will save a total of $155 billion.
- 3,600: By 2030, the reduction in power plant pollution will prevent up to 3,600 premature deaths a year.
- 870 million: When the Clean Power Plan is fully in place in 2030, there will be 870 million tons less carbon pollution—that is the equivalent of the annual emissions of more than 166 million cars, or 70 percent of cars in the country.
Read the full Center for American Progress analysis here.
Thursday March 26, 7 – 8 PM
First Church, 316 Essex St. Salem
From business leaders to national security agencies to scientists there is broad agreement that climate change must be addressed. But can we afford the policies that we need? Join Citizens Climate Lobby and other local organizations as we discuss a legislative proposal that could provide the sustainability we need and actually help the economy in the process. All are welcome. Refreshments will be provided. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date and Time: Wed, September 10, 7 pm
Location: First Church, 316 Essex St.
Could Salem withstand a storm like Hurricane Sandy?
Professor Steve Young from Salem State University’s geography department will present his research on the vulnerability of Salem to sea-level rise in the face of climate change. In addition, Salem SAFE co-chair Jeff Barz-Snell, an environmental researcher, will place Young’s research in the context of the latest reports from the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Finally, Kathy Winn from the Salem planning department will bring us up to date on recommendations made by a consulting group to protect Salem as the waters rise. This event is free and open to the public.
In its effort to promote the new EPA regulations on carbon emissions, the White House has a new infographic. The public comment period is open, and anyone can submit comments here.
The New York Times provides an in-depth look at how systems carbon pricing systems are working in California, New England, and Europe.
KEWAUNEE, Wis. — Bryan T. Pagel, a dairy farmer, watched as a glistening slurry of cow manure disappeared down a culvert. If recycling the waste on his family’s farm would help to save the world, he was happy to go along.
Out back, machinery was breaking down the manure and capturing a byproduct called methane, a potent greenhouse gas. A huge Caterpillar engine roared as it burned the methane to generate electricity, keeping it out of the atmosphere.
The $3.2 million system also reduces odors at Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy, one of the largest in Wisconsin, but it would not have been built without a surprising source of funds: a California initiative that is investing in carefully chosen projects, even ones far beyond its borders, to reduce emissions as part of the battle against climate change.
“When they came out here and told us they were willing to send us checks, we were thrilled,” Mr. Pagel said.
California’s program is the latest incarnation of an increasingly popular — and much debated — mechanism that has emerged as one of the primary weapons against global warming. From China to Norway, Kazakhstan to the Northeastern United States, governments are requiring industries to buy permits allowing them to emit set levels of greenhouse gases. Under these plans, the allowable levels of pollution are steadily reduced and the cost of permits rises, creating an economic incentive for companies to cut emissions. Read more.
This graphic tells the story of climate change as we are experiencing it today. Not in the future!
CREDIT: 2014 National Climate Assessment
Reporting on the latest governmental report on climate change, the Boston Globe reports:
The Northeast is bearing the brunt of climate change in the nation, assaulted by heat waves, torrential rains, and flooding that are the result of human action, according to a federal report released Tuesday.
Over the past century, temperatures in Northeastern states have risen by 2 degrees Fahrenheit, and if heat-trapping gases increase at current rates, warming could spike as much as 10 degrees by the 2080s, prolonging bouts of extreme heat, taxing electrical systems, and disrupting ecosystems.
In the same time, the region’s precipitation has risen by more than 10 percent, and the worst storms here have brought significantly more rain and snow — a surge of more than 70 percent over the past 50 years and significantly more than other parts of the country.