Environmentalists React to U.S. EPA Proposal On Carbon Emissions

As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed strict limits on greenhouse-gas emissions from new power plants this week, environmentalists remained cautious. The proposal sets a standard of 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per megawatt-hour, which is expected to end construction of new coal power stations.

Yet, it will not apply to existing power plants and does nothing to impact the attractiveness of natural gas for companies looking to build.

Overbrook Environment grantee Environment Defense Fund (EDF) applauded the EPA's efforts but not without caution. EDF's President Fred Krupp stated, "For what they're doing today, I think they deserve a standing ovation," but warned, "we can't address the threat that climate change poses to American communities without addressing carbon from existing plants."

Other environmental and public health groups remain mostly supportive of the rule, but believe that the EPA still has an obligation to address the largest single source of greenhouse gases - existing coal power plants.

The proposal is now open to public comments.