Today, Mark Udall released the following statement on a proposed standard put forward by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to curb the amount of carbon pollution emitted by new power plants. The rule would incentivize the use of modern pollution control technologies and encourage the use of cleaner-burning fuels such as natural gas.
"I commend the EPA for proposing these limits on carbon pollution. Moving our country toward a clean energy future will help stabilize energy prices, create new jobs, diversify the energy sources on which we depend, and make our country more secure. It is crucial that we begin to reduce our dependence on the dirty fuels of the last century and curb the effects of climate change. The benefits of clean air are numerous and profound to Colorado's public health and economy.
"While I would prefer to see a legislative solution that includes a comprehensive energy policy for America and focuses on clean, domestic sources of energy, the proposed standard can serve as an important backstop to Congressional inaction and put a price on carbon pollution. I look forward to reviewing the proposal in detail in the coming weeks and months to determine how it will affect Coloradans."
The EPA standard, while setting limits on the amount of carbon pollution allowed by new plants, provides flexibility in how power plants meet the standard, including the use of fuels such as natural gas or alternative technologies that reduce the pollution from burning coal. The rule was developed following a public vetting and information-gathering process, and it will be open to review and comment by the public for 60 days after being published in the Federal Register. The rule does not apply to any existing power plants or those scheduled to be built in the next 12 months. For more information on the ruling, click here: http://www.epa.gov/carbonpollutionstandard/actions.html.
Udall has been an outspoken advocate to increase energy independence and reduce reliance on dirty fuels. In 2004, he championed Colorado's Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) that requires 30 percent of the state's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020. Many power plants have already begun to transition to cheaper, more efficient and cleaner fuels to generate energy, and Xcel Energy recently committed to transforming its Denver-area plants to burn natural gas. Last year, Udall introduced legislation to enact a national RES that would require 25 percent of the nation's energy come from solar, wind, and other renewable sources.