Clean Air

Air pollution is a scourge on our health, climate, and economy. Burning fossil fuels is the main cause of both air pollution and climate change, and health experts have concluded that climate change will actually make air pollution an even greater health threat, unless fossil fuel emissions are drastically reduced.

The Clean Air Act is our best policy tool for limiting air pollution, stopping climate change and protecting human health. It gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency authority to regulate dangerous air toxics like mercury, carbon monoxide, and greenhouse gases. The pollution limits set by the EPA are cost effective and save Americans money.

Some lawmakers are trying to weaken air pollution protection laws, which is why the Will Steger Foundation is working with Minnesotans to defend the Clean Air Act and make sure the Clean Air Act and EPA continue to protect us and our climate.

President Obama’s Clean Power Plan

Carbon pollution exacerbates climate change. In June 2014, the EPA proposed Carbon Pollution Standards for existing power plants under the Clean Air Act. Power plants represent the nation’s greatest source of the heat-trapping gas, or about 40% of greenhouse gas emissions. The Standards will take the form of emission guidelines that, once finalized, will establish qualitative benchmarks for states to meet. The states will be responsible for developing state-specific plans to implement the final performance standards. The EPA’s new rule will allow utility companies to trade in the hope of finding efficient, low-cost ways to achieve those goals.

National limits on carbon pollution will help states like Minnesota maintain its freedom to continue to implement policies that preserve our quality of life, while also protecting our communities from pollution from neighboring states. Minnesota is already proving that switching to renewable sources of energy is good for the state and good for the economy. We currently get more than 15 percent of our power from clean, renewable sources. Because of actions in Minnesota, we have reduced carbon in our electricity system by more than 20 percent, primarily due to energy efficiency, power plant repowering and meeting Minnesota’s renewable energy requirements.

Learn more about the plan: http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards

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