Launched under President Obama, the Clean Power Plan (“CPP”) requires coal-fired power plants to eliminate 415 million tons of Carbon emissions by 2030. In October 2017, the USEPA announced it would repeal the CPP and replace it with the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) proposal. Contrary to its name, the EPA’s analysis shows that the ACE proposal will allow higher levels of air pollution that would cost Americans billions of dollars and cause up to 1,400 more premature deaths, 48,000 new or worsened asthma cases, and 21,000 missed school days each year. It would also eliminate targets for carbon emissions and do nothing to encourage a transition to clean, renewable energy.
Here in Illinois, the USEPA is also cutting air quality protections in Lake and McHenry Counties. These counties experience levels of smog that exceed safe levels, and existing protections require industries to use ‘best available technologies’ to minimize smog. The EPA is changing local standards in order to label higher smog levels as ‘safe’, thereby allowing industries to use less effective smog reduction methods. Put together, the ACE proposal and reduced air quality standards pose serious threats to natural areas and our ability to safely enjoy them.
You can submit a comment expressing your opinion about the importance of reducing carbon emissions and the need for the ACE proposal to take this responsibility more seriously. Comments are due on October 31, 2018.