“Administration needs to step up its game and get the job done,” according to League

Washington, DC (April 15, 2013) – Today the League of Women Voters of the U.S. (LWVUS) expressed disappointment with the Obama Administration for missing a key deadline to set industrial carbon pollution standards for new power plants.

“We are concerned and disappointed that the Administration is falling behind in taking the critical steps needed to protect our health and our planet,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, national President of the League. “In this, the first opportunity for real action on power plant pollution since the President’s commitments in his Inaugural speech and State of the Union address, we see that the deadline for administrative action has been missed.”

The Clean Air Act requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set carbon pollution reduction standards for major emitters.  The agency proposed standards for new power plants in 2012 and was required to complete action on the proposed rule by April 13.  These first-ever industrial carbon pollution standards for new power plants would assure that all new plants use modern technology to cut their dangerous carbon pollution in half. 

“Just last year more than three million public comments were sent to the EPA in favor of limits on industrial carbon pollution from both new and existing power plants. This record number of comments on the EPA proposal reflects strong support for controlling carbon pollution from the American people,” MacNamara said.

“The Administration needs to step up its game and get the job done,” said MacNamara. She noted that EPA will undoubtedly be sued over this delay, but she also pointed to the larger agenda that needs attention. “While this rule is important, controlling carbon pollution from existing power plants is what needs to be done to fulfill the President’s pledge on climate, protect our health, and save the planet.”

“The President needs to step in, get the process back on track, and make sure that his Administration fulfills his commitment to control the pollution that is causing climate change,” MacNamara said.

“The President has said it is our nation’s obligation to take action to slow climate change and he’s committed his Administration to deliver on that obligation,” added MacNamara. “He has the authority to take bold action and we expect him to keep his promise.”

“U.S. power plants are the nation’s largest carbon polluter, and the largest uncontrolled source of industrial carbon pollution.  We must dramatically slash industrial carbon pollution from these plants – both new and existing power plants -- to stave off the worst impacts of climate change and protect the health and well-being of Americans, concluded MacNamara.”

Contact: Kelly Ceballos, kceballos@lwv.org