Carbon pollution at power plants: What standards should be set for lowering it?

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Big photos and more below.
Until 5 p.m. today, the Environmental Protection Agency is holding a public listening session in Denver to "solicit ideas and input...about the best Clean Air Act approaches to reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants." The folks at Environment Colorado, who recently released a report about the 100 dirtiest power plants in America (including two in Colorado), are tackling the topic, too, during an event at 12:15 p.m. today that will feature Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia and other stakeholders concerned about carbon pollution. Details and more below.

The get-together takes place at the downtown Tattered Cover Bookstore, and speaking alongside Lt. Governor Garcia will be Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones, Curt Huber, executive director of the American Lung Association's Colorado branch and more. We've included the complete press release below.

The discussion is important, says Margaret McCall, an energy associate with Environment Colorado, because "power plants are America's largest single source of carbon pollution."

She adds that proposed standards for carbon pollution at new power plants, issued by the EPA last month (see the document below), represent "the first-ever national limits" at such facilities, "which is a huge step in the right direction. And the next step comes in June, when the EPA will set a standard for limiting pollution at existing power plants. And that's what this panel of speakers is coming together to talk about."

In McCall's opinion, "the time to take action is now. We can't just commemorate the anniversary of superstorm Sandy," which took place yesterday. "The EPA is looking for input, and if we want a safer future for our kids, we need to speak up."

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Flickr Creative Commons/Bernard Pollack
The Comanche power plant in Pueblo was named the 89th dirtiest power plant in America.
To register or take part in the EPA's public listening session today, click here. Below, see the press release for today's event, followed by the report about America's dirtiest power plants and the EPA proposal for carbon standards at new power plants.

Environment Colorado press release:

COLORADO LT GOVERNOR GARCIA AND COMMUNITY LEADERS CALL FOR ACTION ON UNCHECKED CARBON POLLUTION FROM POWER PLANTS TO PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH, ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE

Denver, CO -- While the Environmental Protection Agency holds a listening session in Denver, seeking input on its forthcoming carbon pollution standard for existing power plants, local leaders, public health officials and environmental advocates will hold a press conference to highlight the urgent need for action on the unchecked carbon pollution. Bold action on carbon pollution from power plants, which are responsible for 40 percent of the carbon pollution in the U.S. that causes climate change, is vital to protect public health.

The event will be held in the second floor event room of the Tattered Cover Bookstore at 1628 16th Street, at 12:15 p.m. and will feature Lt. Governor Garcia; Curt Huber, ED of the American Lung Association in Colorado; Elise Jones, Boulder County Commissioner; Wade Sikorsky, Montana farmer; John Gale, National Sportsmen's Outreach Campaign Manager for National Wildlife Federation; and David Zilar, Colorado Springs small business owner.

The EPA's listening sessions are the first public effort to get input from key stakeholders across the country, including here in Denver, as the agency prepares to propose a standard next June. In Colorado, extreme weather fueled by climate change has been a reoccurring theme, from the recent record-breaking floods, to destructive wildfires and persistent drought that is affecting farmers and ranchers, as well as the winter sports industry. This proposal follows last month's similar plan of a carbon pollution standard for new power plants. The first two listening sessions elsewhere in the country were delayed due to the government shutdown, but have been rescheduled to ensure input will be received at all 11 of the agency's regional offices.

What: Local leaders unite to call for strong standards for carbon pollution from power plants

When: Wednesday, October 30 at 12:15 p.m.

Where: Tattered Cover Bookstore, 1628 16th St, Denver, 2nd floor event space

Speakers:

• Lieutenant Governor Joseph A. Garcia

• Curt Huber, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Colorado

• Elise Jones, Boulder County Commissioner

• Wade Sikorsky, Montana farmer

• John Gale, National Sportmen's Outreach Campaign Manager for National Wildlife Federation

• David Zilar, Colorado Springs small business owner, Today's BLDG

America's Dirtiest Power Plants Report

EPA Proposal for Carbon Standards at New Power Plants

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Environment archive: "Photos: The 100 dirtiest power plants in America -- including two in Colorado."

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