Sending Office: Honorable Nanette Diaz Barragan
Sent By:
Mike.Stoever@mail.house.gov

 

Request for Signature(s)

Current signers (21): Barragán (CA), Beyer (VA), Cartwright (PA), Connolly (VA), Kihuen (NV), Lowenthal (CA), Matsui (CA), Moore (WI), Pingree (ME), Polis (CO), Quigley (IL), Rush (IL), Slaughter (NY), Tonko (NY), Watson Coleman
(NJ), Wilson (FL), Wasserman Schultz (FL), McNerney (CA), Lee (CA), Ellison (MN), Boyle (PA)

Deadline to sign: Friday, February 16th

Dear Colleague:

We are writing to encourage you to join our letter to Administrator Pruitt opposing the replacement of the Clean Power Plan with a weaker rule that puts public health at risk.

In its recent Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the EPA signaled that it may replace the Clean Power Plan with an option that could produce little to no climate benefits and, evidence suggests, may seriously harm human health by increasing sulfur dioxide,
particulate matter and ozone pollution. The hazardous health effects of these pollutants are well established. Exposure can seriously damage the lungs and heart—they have been linked to premature death, lung cancer, aggravated asthma, trouble breathing, heart
attack, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This type of plan could also risk exposing more Americans to the dangerous health impacts of climate change by not doing enough to reduce carbon pollution. Climate change is now causing and will continue
to pose increasingly serious threats to our health because it worsens ozone pollution; worsens wildfire and drought conditions that increase particulate pollution; increases the spread of vector-borne diseases like West-Nile, Zika and Lyme disease; increases
heat-related illnesses and deaths; and increases extreme weather that puts lives in danger immediately (for example through extreme flooding, hurricanes, and other dangers) and results in people being cut-off from needed medication and medical care.

A study conducted by researchers from Harvard, Boston University, and Syracuse University found that an “inside the fenceline approach” to cutting carbon pollution like the one the EPA is considering could result in more premature deaths than no rule at
all. This kind of approach would limit carbon pollution mitigation to changes that can be made at the power plant, rather than allowing for a flexible approach like the Clean Power Plan that encourages incorporation of cleaner energy resources throughout a
state’s energy grid.

Our communities cannot afford the risk associated with increased air pollution, and they deserve a plan that can improve public health outcomes across the country while reducing climate-warming pollution. Please join us in raising immediate opposition to
weaker carbon pollution standards that could put our communities’ health at risk.

If you have any questions regarding the letter, or if you would like to sign on, please contact SEEC’s Executive Director, Maria Laverdiere (Maria.Laverdiere@mail.house.gov), Mike Stoever with Rep. Nanette
Barragán (Mike.Stoever@mail.house.gov) or Dorcas Adekunle with Rep Watson Coleman (Dorcas.Adekunle@mail.house.gov). Deadline to join is Friday, February 16.

Sincerely,

Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán                                                  Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman

SEEC Member                                                                       SEEC Member

 

Rep. Doris Matsui                                                                  Rep. Gerald E. Connolly
SEEC Co-Chair                                                                      SEEC Co-Chair

 

Rep. Paul Tonko                                                                    Rep. Mike Quigley
SEEC Co-Chair                                                                     SEEC Vice-Chair

 

Rep. Matt Cartwright                                                             Rep. Chellie Pingree
SEEC Vice-Chair                                                                   SEEC Vice-Chair

 

Rep. Alan Lowenthal                                                             Rep. Jared Polis

SEEC Vice-Chair                                                                   SEEC Vice-Chair

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The Honorable Scott Pruitt

Administrator

Environmental Protection Agency

1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20460

Dear Administrator Pruitt:

We write to you with concern regarding your plans to rewrite the rule limiting carbon pollution from existing power plants. We find your Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) for a replacement for the Clean Power Plan deeply concerning, as it signals
that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may seek to replace the Clean Power Plan with a rule that could provide far fewer carbon reductions and cause greater harm from other pollutants. We believe it is critical that the EPA consider the health impacts
of this approach, especially because, by your own assessment, the Clean Power Plan was projected to save thousands of lives each year.[1]

Your notice asks for comment on a reading of Clean Air Act (CAA) section 111(a)(1) as limited to emission measures that can be applied to or at a stationary source, at the source-specific level. Under this reading, pollution reduction measures must be narrowly
based on a physical or operational change to a building,structure, facility, or installation at that source– or “inside the fenceline” –rather than measures that can be implemented on behalf of the source at another location. This interpretation represents
a serious limitation on the capacious requirement under the Act that performance standards be based on the application of the “best system of emission reduction,” and likely would yield significantly fewer reductions in climate-warming carbon pollution than
the Clean Power Plan, as well as potentially increasing other dangerous forms of air pollution.

A study conducted by researchers from Harvard, Boston University, and Syracuse University found that this kind of inside the fenceline approach to cutting carbon pollution from power plants could result in more premature deaths than no rule at all.[2] Their
analysis found only a 2 percent decrease in carbon pollution coinciding with a 3 percent increase in sulfur dioxide emissions in 2020 compared to a no-new policy reference case. Specifically, the inside the fenceline option they analyzed resulted in an increase
in particulate matter and ozone pollution (also known as smog), and ultimately led to an increase in premature deaths across seventeen states.

In contrast, they estimated that employing a more flexible approach similar to the Clean Power Plan adopted by the EPA in 2015 would reduce carbon pollution by 24 percent, sulfur dioxide pollution by 27 percent, and nitrogen oxides by 22 percent. They estimated
that the reductions in pollution that would accompany such a flexible approach would lead to air quality improvements in all lower forty-eight states and would prevent an estimated 3,500 premature deaths, 1,000 hospitalizations, and 220 heart attacks a year.

We are concerned that issuing such limited standards could leave Americans more exposed to dangerous pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and ozone pollution. The hazardous health effects of these pollutants are well established. Exposure
can seriously damage the lungs and heart—they have been linked to premature death, lung cancer, aggravated asthma, trouble breathing, heart attack, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Furthermore, this damage to our health also damages our communities
and economic well-being by leading to more missed days of school and work and increased health costs for medication, doctor visits, and hospital admissions.

In the immediate and long-term, we are also concerned that this type of plan would risk exposing more Americans to the dangerous health impacts of climate change by not doing enough to reduce carbon pollution. Climate change is now causing and will continue
to pose increasingly serious threats to our health because it worsens ozone pollution; worsens wildfire and drought conditions that increase particulate pollution; increases the spread of vector-borne diseases like West-Nile, Zika and Lyme disease; increases
extreme heat that results in heat-related illnesses and deaths; and increases extreme weather that puts lives in danger immediately (for example through extreme flooding, hurricanes, and other dangers) and results in people being cut-off from needed medication
and medical care.

Given that an inside the fenceline approach to controlling carbon pollution from existing power plan could put more American lives in danger, we are opposed to its application. We instead encourage you to return to the basics of the Clean Power Plan, which
encourages incorporation of cleaner energy sources and gives states needed flexibility to significantly reduce carbon pollution and improve public health.

Sincerely,

__________

 

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