Posts Tagged ‘carbon emissions’

The public will soon get a chance to present ideas and feedback to EPA officials on the agency’s plan to require existing power plants to cut their carbon emissions.

The agency will hold a series of 11 public events around the country over the next two months, the agency announced today.

The EPA plans to set guidelines that will allow states to design programs to reduce carbon emissions from power plants, which account for a third of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, the agency said in a statement. Those proposals are scheduled to be released in June 2014.

“Before proposing guidelines, EPA must consider how power plants with a variety of different configurations would be able to reduce carbon pollution in a cost-effective way,” the agency said.

The public hearings will be:

Read Full Post »

Today, I had the privilege of addressing citizens in San Antonio, Texas that attended the Organizing for Action Climate Change Event at Congressman Lamar Smith’s office.  Here is a transcript of my speech:

“Congressman Lamar Smith, who chairs the House Committee on Science, has recently said he didn’t want to act on climate change because of ‘uncertainties on how much human activity is causing climate change’  He should hold hearings in Texas to hear from scientists and citizens about how the ‘uncertain climate’ is effecting his home state.

There is no longer any uncertainty over climate change. Ninety-seven percent of the credentialed scientists who have studied this issue recognize the clear linear relationship between increased carbon emissions and human activity

A blanket of carbon dioxide keeps our earth warm enough to live on, but when that blanket is thickened by carbon emitted by our power plants, factories, cars and trucks, the earth overheats, resulting in increased uncertainty for Texans due to more severe droughts, heat waves, wildfires, tornados and hurricanes.

The ‘uncertainty’ now centers on how much or how fast the climate will change.  No responsible scientist is saying we shouldn’t act now to reduce carbon.

Changing our energy sources is the fastest and cheapest way to do that. Two public utilities in the Congressman’s district, CPS and Austin Energy, are leading the nation in renewable energy and energy-efficiency programs that work, reduce carbon and costs.

Also, Congressman Smith should stop promoting the Keystone Pipeline and acknowledge that emissions from mining, refining and using this tar like substance are far more damaging than conventional crude, and will affect central Texans.

We ask Congressman Smith to hold hearings in Austin and San Antonio, away from the oil and coal company lobbyists of Washington, D.C., so his constituents and local scientists can tell him how climate change is creating uncertainty in their lives and livelihood.

As Congressman Smith’s fellow Republicans expressed in the New York Times Opinion Pages on August 1st, 2013, ‘The only uncertainty about our warming world is how bad the changes will get, and how soon.  What is most clear is that there is no time to waste.  Mr. Obama’s plan is just a start. More will be required. But we must continue our efforts to reduce the climate-altering pollutants that threaten our planet.'”

Unfortunately, similar speeches were having to be given at over 100 U.S. Represenatives and Senators offices today. Politians that are climate change deniers are out of the mainstream of both American thought and scientific fact. After the speeches were given, we presented Congressman Smith with a “Climate Change Denier Award.” This is one award that Rep. Smith, as well as the many others that recieved it, should not be proud of.


Read Full Post »

Austin is not alone in preparing for clean and affordable energy.

When good news like this comes across the internet like this, we have to share. From the cloudy northwest:

Portland General Electric Co. would shut down the state’s only coal-fired power plant 20 years earlier than planned under a proposal it hopes to finalize with state and federal regulators in the coming months.

Essentially, the new plan to shut the Boardman plant down 20 years earlier than planned is to avoid extra costs for pollution controls (more than $500 million by 2017) and avoid carbon risks.  PGE still owes $125 million on the plant, and replacing the 500 MW of power will have its costs too, but read on…

Based on its analysis of carbon and natural gas prices, however, PGE maintains that a 2020 shutdown would be the low-cost, least-risk plan for utility ratepayers and shareholders [emphasis mine]. Under the existing plan, both face the risk of making the huge investment to control haze causing pollution – which does nothing to control the plant’s carbon emissions — then seeing the plant close anyway if global warming legislation or a carbon tax makes its output prohibitively expensive.

Read the full article here. Coal represents about a quarter of PGE’s generation mix. (Los Angeles also has a goal to get out of coal by 2020.)

Austin Energy has similar plans to get out of its only coal plant, the Fayette Power Project. No target date is set yet, but the utility’s 2020 generation plan would reduce Austin’s dependence on it by 20-30%. The next two years will be important as Austin works with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas  (the grid operator for most of Texas) and the Lower Colorado River Authority (co-owner of Fayette) to see what the most practical and fair way out. Learn more about the resource plan and some excellent additional recommendations at www.cleanenergyforaustin.org. You can also learn a lot from AE’s website www.austinsmartenergy.com.


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

Read Full Post »