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Letter to the editor: Proposed EPA Clean Power Plan has great benefits

Letter to the editor:

With headline-grabbing issues such as Ebola in the news recently, it is easy to overlook the looming concerns of climate change. In 2013, Columbus experienced a harsh winter, with storm-related damages totaling up to $124.4 million and about $833 million in the Midwest region. Now, the 2014 winter is forecasted to be colder than normal, and climate change might be to blame.

These extreme weather events have been linked with carbon pollution. Companies must currently follow limits on emitting chemicals such as arsenic, lead and mercury. There are no limits, however, on carbon emissions. This is puzzling, as carbon pollution can lead to severe weather, health problems such as asthma and decreased agricultural yields that can cause higher food costs.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is attempting to solve these problems with the Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan, if successful, would cut carbon pollution from power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels. The benefits, while great, could be even more significant with higher standards. If you would like to see even more positive change, support the higher standards.

Brandon Swanzer
Third-year in environmental policy

One comment

  1. The letter’s assertion that a very specific weather occurrence can be linked with global climate change is misleading at best and a lie at worst.

    The US EPA has no idea about what it takes to run the nation’s power grid, its dubious claims of statutory authority aside. Those who do, including many state regulatory commissions and grid operators, are extremely concerned anout the proposed rules. For example, the reason we did not suffer large blackouts last February was due to our ability to rely on older coal-fired plants to keep up with the intense demand.

    Climate change is an obvious concern to us as stewards of the planet and action is needed. This action, however, must come from Congreas, an institution much better suited to balance our absolute dependency on reliable power with needs to look for less carbon-intensive production methods.

    Regardless, the US EPA is woefully unprepared to understand the complexity of our power system and must remove itself from this topic until we have a better approach to this subject. If not, we are facing significant harm to our capacity to meet the energy needs of Americans.

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