For Immediate Release, November 5, 2013

Contact:        Rose Braz, (510) 435-6809, rbraz@biologicaldiversity.org  

As Obama Administration Ponders Power Plant Pollution Rules,
74 Cities Urge Ambitious Action to Protect Climate

Advocates to Present Resolutions at ESA Listening Session in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO— Advocates for climate action today are presenting Obama administration officials in San Francisco with resolutions from 74 cities that support ambitious use of the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

The resolutions — passed by city councils in Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco itself and dozens of other communities as part of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Clean Air Cities campaign — are being delivered at an Environmental Protection Agency public hearing on proposals to reduce power plant carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act. The hearing begins at 9 a.m. at EPA’s offices at 75 Hawthorne St. in San Francisco.

“Dozens of local governments representing more than 43 million people have urged ambitious use of the Clean Air Act to stave off climate change’s worst impacts,” said Rose Braz, the Center’s climate campaign director. “From Miami to Los Angeles, these cities understand the enormous dangers they face from heat waves, storm surges and other effects of our increasingly chaotic climate. To protect our future, the president and the EPA must curb the massive carbon pollution spewing out of power plants.”

The EPA is holding “listening sessions” around the country on the creation of rules to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants. The sessions come in the wake of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report, which found that carbon pollution is heating up the planet and increasing many regions’ danger from heat waves, floods and damaging storms, creating a climate crisis that threatens people and wildlife around the globe.

“As part of these ‘listening sessions,’ the EPA should heed what local governments are saying: We have to move fast to solve the climate crisis,” said Braz. “Right now we’re simply not moving fast enough, and local leaders are looking to the White House for real action.”

In September the EPA released a proposal under the Clean Air Act to curb greenhouse gas pollution from future power plants. Unfortunately that proposal would only make modest cuts to power plant emissions over the coming years, even as scientists point to alarming new evidence of the growing risks of climate change. 

“If President Obama is serious about tackling the climate crisis, he must do more,” Braz said. “He has a huge opportunity here to issue an ambitious Clean Air Act proposal to truly reduce greenhouse gas pollution from existing power plants. Timid half-measures won’t do the job.”

The Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign is working across the country to encourage cities to pass resolutions supporting the Clean Air Act and its ability to reduce the amount of carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million, the level scientists say is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. The resolutions call on President Barack Obama and the EPA to take swift action to address climate change.

Resolutions have been approved in 74 U.S. communities: Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, Red Hook and Yonkers, N.Y.; Bloomfield and Hartford, Conn.; Albany, Berkeley, Santa Monica, Arcata, Oxnard, Santa Cruz, Richmond, Culver City, San Francisco, San Leandro, Fairfax, West Hollywood, Oakland and Los Angeles, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Nashville, Tenn.; Kauai and Honolulu, Hawaii; New Hope Borough, Pittsburgh, Carlisle and Philadelphia, Pa.; Tucson, Ariz.; Chapel Hill and Boone, N.C.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Milwaukee and Madison, Wis.; Newton, Cambridge, Amherst, Newburyport, Northampton and Concord, Mass.; Cincinnati and Oberlin, Ohio; Keene, N.H.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Kansas City, Mo.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Miami, South Miami, Pinecrest, Tampa, Hallandale Beach, Gulfport, Broward County, Monroe County, St. Petersburg, Key West and West Palm Beach, Fla.; Chicago, Ill.; Teton County, Wyo.; Eugene, Ore.; Boulder, Colo.; Burlington, Vt.; Detroit and Ann Arbor, Mich.; Wilmington, Del.; Providence, R.I.; Gary, Ind.; Woodbridge, N.J.; Portland, Maine; Baltimore, Md.; Arlington County and Charlottesville, Va.; and Washington, D.C. Several other cities around the country will be considering resolutions over the next few months.

Learn more about the Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign and get the facts about the Clean Air Act.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 625,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.


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