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The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus

News

League comments on EPA proposal to regulate greenhouse gases

Friday, Jun. 12, 2009

In an e-mail sent today, the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus urged the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

The communication was sent in response to a notice issued by the League of Women Voters of the United States. The full text of the correspondence follows:

On behalf of the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus and our hundreds of members across central Ohio, I write in support of both the “endangerment” finding and the “cause or contribute” finding, and urge EPA to move quickly to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. I believe the “endangerment” finding should also support quick EPA action to control emissions from new and existing coal-fired electric power plants, including a moratorium on the building of new coal-fired plants, until the technology is in place that can substantially reduce the amount of CO2 emitted by these sources

The proposed “endangerment” finding is fully in keeping with the best scientific evidence that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and the environment. The scientific evidence is clear that climate change, caused largely by human emissions of greenhouse gases, is here now, already causing increasingly severe droughts and heat waves in some areas, intensifying floods and hurricanes in others, and triggering more wildfires. Climate change can devastate crops, create drinking water shortages, displace millions of people because of floods, and increase the spread of diseases like malaria.

The proposed “cause or contribute” finding recognizes that pollution from mobile sources is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, 24 percent of greenhouse gases come from the transportation sector. EPA must act quickly to regulate and control these emissions.

Finally, EPA should recognize that stationary sources, particularly coal-fired power plants, are the largest emitters of these pollutants. Coal-fired electric power plants are responsible for more than 33 percent of U.S. CO2 emissions. Therefore, because of the scientific evidence of harm that forms the basis of the “endangerment” finding, EPA must step forward and regulate new and existing stationary sources, especially power plants.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this critical matter.