Legislative Panel Jeopardizes Action to Protect Pennsylvanians’ Health from Dangerous Carbon Pollution

Full Senate Should Reject Misguided Bill

HARRISBURG, PA (October 6, 2014) – A state legislative panel today made it harder to protect Pennsylvanians’ health by requiring the General Assembly to approve a state plan to curb power plant carbon pollution before it goes to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to health and environmental groups.

With just days left its legislative session, the Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee voted 8-3 for HB 2354 and moved the bill closer to a full Senate vote. It would slow down efforts by the state of Pennsylvania to meet requirements under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants operating in the states.

While these power plants have limits on pollutants like mercury, smog and soot pollution, they can dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the air. This is the nation’s biggest source of carbon pollution and a key driver of climate change.

“Pennsylvanians’ health, and our children’s health and future, shouldn’t take a back seat to this meddlesome effort to protect big polluters and their profits,” said Jackson Morris, director of eastern energy policy for the natural Resources Defense Council. “The fact is: More asthma attacks, heart ailments and trips to emergency rooms lie ahead for thousands of Pennsylvanians unless the state is free to craft a smart plan to curb power plant carbon pollution. The Senate should reject this misguided bill that would interfere with protecting the public’s health.

“Done right, by 2020 alone, according to NRDC modeling, the EPA’s guidelines can create more than 5,100 new jobs in the Keystone State; contribute $456 million in energy savings to Pennsylvania families and businesses; and significantly cut pollution in ways that will help prevent thousands of asthma attacks, heart attacks, lung cancer diagnoses and other illnesses.”

To see Jackson Morris’ blog on the issue, click here: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jmorris/carbon_standards_in_pennsylvania.html


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