The EPA’s Clean Power Plan, backed by President Obama, is a common sense approach to meet both our energy and environmental sustainability needs.
The plan calls for the first, and severely needed, limitations on carbon emissions from power plants. One of the primary goals is to reduce emissions by 32 percent by 2030.
Here are some key points of the plan –
- To Create tens of thousands of clean energy jobs.
- To provide an average savings of $85 for the average American’s yearly power bill by 2030.
- To drive more investments in clean energy technologies of all kinds with a goal of at least 30 percent more renewable energy by 2030.
- To prevent premature deaths due to power plant emissions by 90 percent by 2030, and to reduce cases of asthma in kids by at least 70 percent. This will amount to 3,600 fewer premature deaths and at least 90,000 fewer asthma attacks.
- To prioritize funding of solar and wind projects.
- To deploy energy efficiency measures in lower income communities.
As can be seen from the points above, this plan is a win-win for both our environment and our economy. We can finally transition our economy to one that is based on clean energy while saving money over the long term.
The Clean Power Plan is a very flexible one in terms of how the states are allowed to meet the emission reduction goals. States are allowed to work on interstate plans in trading energy credits. Also, energy efficiency, natural gas, nuclear and carbon capture all count towards overall carbon limiting practices.
Proponents of clean energy are obviously very excited about this new clean energy plan. For example, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) can envision solar power becoming a significant part of this plan and again stated reasons why solar is the way to go. The President of the SEIA, Rhone Resch, has highlighted the benefits of solar in light of the announcement of the Clean Power Plan. Here are some key points mentioned (the first one is a quote from Resch because it could not have been said better) –
- “Solar works in all 50 states, has zero emissions, creates more jobs per megawatt than any other technology and can be deployed cost effectively and quickly – all while improving grid reliability.”
- More than 150,000 new solar jobs have been created in the past 10 years.
- There will be enough solar energy to power 8 million homes by the end of 2016. This will offsett 45 million tons of carbon emissions.
The bottom line for this plan really boils down to one basic idea – carbon emission pollution must be drastically reduced while ensuring economic stability. This is now very achievable now that wind and solar power are cost effective. The only people or interests that could possibly have an issue with this plan are those invested in the fossil fuel industry.
We, the people, need to stand up for changes that truly benefit all of us.
We can and must live in a world in which we can breath air not laden with pollution.