Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) wrote to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to support EPA’s comprehensive clean power plan while urging EPA to adopt methodology that would be more equitable. Pennsylvania powers states throughout the region and has made great strides as a leader in the development of clean energy sources.
“We must be serious about the threat of climate change for the sake of public health, national security and children’s health,” said Senator Casey. “I support the need for a comprehensive climate change plan but believe EPA’s calculation imposes a disproportionate and unfair burden on Pennsylvania. Our Commonwealth powers the electricity needs of states across the Mid-Atlantic. We should be treated sensibly and fairly.”
Senator Casey’s comments to EPA state that we must rise to the challenge of climate change and revitalize our economy by increasing our efforts in the areas of energy efficiency; developing and adopting cleaner ways of producing electricity; and creating jobs. Senator Casey addresses limitations in EPA’s proposed rule that calls for higher burdens on Pennsylvania relative to other states, particularly in renewable energy targets that could not be made up from additional pollution reductions from other sources targeted in EPA’s rule.
Key points of Senator Casey’s letter:
- We must take action on climate change because it poses a serious threat to public health, the environment and national security.
- The transition to cleaner energy must include a pathway for multiple forms of electricity generation including clean coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydropower, wind, solar, biomass and other renewables, as well as energy reduction measures.
- EPA’s comprehensive four-building-block plan is a necessary and effective approach to reducing carbon pollution. The four blocks are:
- Improving efficiency at coal plants
- Using natural gas plants more frequently
- Increasing renewable and other low-carbon or zero-carbon electricity
- Reducing electricity demand
- Pennsylvania is a net-energy-producing state (generating more power than it consumes) whose economy is built on affordable electricity for manufacturing and other energy-intensive industries.
- EPA’s renewable energy target for Pennsylvania imposes a disproportionate burden on the Commonwealth relative to other states with much greater renewable energy potential, which could not be alleviated by squeezing greater carbon pollution reductions from the other three building blocks in Pennsylvania.
- EPA must give greater recognition to zero-carbon sources such as nuclear power and hydropower to provide an incentive for these sources to remain in operation, as they make up a large portion of Pennsylvania’s electricity sources that would lower its carbon pollution rate.