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Call on Congress to Defend our Climate

Under the bold leadership of the Biden Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and every Member of Congress who led the fight to pass the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)—the largest climate investment in American history—we have made significant progress on climate. This includes stronger standards that will reduce harmful pollution driving climate change, from power plants, vehicles, and soot sources.

Multiple Power Plant Solution Standards

On April 25th, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a package of standards to slash carbon, coal ash, mercury, wastewater and other toxic pollution from power plants. The standards will clean up dirty power plants, improve the quality of our air and water, slash climate pollution, and protect the health of millions of people, including the communities left to struggle with the negative impacts of power plant pollutions.

The EPA's carbon pollution power plant standards and the Inflation Reduction Act are projected to lead to a 75% reduction below 2005 levels in carbon pollution by 2035. Over time, the mercury and air toxics standards will create $300 million in health benefits, the wastewater standards will cut 660 million pounds of toxic wastewater pollution, the coal ash standards will protect communities by requiring the cleanup of of at least 389 sites that have either legacy coal ash ponds or old, unregulated landfills, and in 2035 the carbon standards would save 1,200 lives and avert 360,000 cases of asthma symptoms.

Mercury and Air Toxics Standards

On April 25th, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). These standards will save lives, protect our air, and protect our water. MATS are already a tremendous success story, protecting babies, kids, seniors, and others exposed to dangerous and deadly power plant pollution like mercury, soot and arsenic.

Big Polluters and their allies in Congress are already lining up to oppose this measure, despite broad public support for it. They would trade our lives for their profits.

Solar For All

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced grant recipients for the $7 billion ‘Solar for All’ program: the states, territories, Tribal governments, municipalities, and nonprofits that will receive funding to provide financial and technical assistance to greatly expand the number of low-income and disadvantaged communities across the country that can benefit from residential distributed solar energy. Projects funded through the Solar for All program will lower energy bills for millions of Americans, provide equitable access to clean energy, reduce pollution, increase power resiliency, invest in local business and create quality jobs. This federal investment will also spur the investment of private capital to stimulate even more clean energy projects in undercapitalized markets.

The announcement is critical, as low-income and disadvantaged communities have been left behind in the rapid deployment of residential distributed solar generation that has been occuring nationwide. These communities also face an average energy burden, in terms of the proportion of income spent on energy, that is three times higher than non-low-income households. One hundred percent of the funding awarded is dedicated toward distributed solar investments to benefit low-income and disadvantaged communities. The funds can be used for residential rooftop solar, residential-serving community solar, infrastructure to store solar generated power from these projects, and energy and building upgrades necessary to deploy and/or maximize the benefits of these projects.

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund

On April 4th, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced awardees for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), identifying the organizations that will finance individuals, nonprofit organizations, small businesses, community lenders, and others. The $20 billion green finance programs ($14B for the National Clean Investment Fund and $6B for the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator) were established as a part of President Biden’s climate and clean energy plan in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Through investment in climate action and communities, the GGRF directs long-overdue funding to projects that will reduce pollution, lower energy costs for families across the United States, and create good-quality jobs — all while catalyzing an unprecedented wave of private sector investment.

For examples of the types of projects that could be funded, refer to this infographic from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). While EPA is moving the ball forward, the House is pushing us backward with attempts to repeal this Fund, putting polluters over people and gambling with jobs, our economic future, and our health.

EPA releases final methane pollution rule 

On December 2nd, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final rule to cut methane pollution and other harmful air pollutants from the oil and gas sector. This rule will take an important step forward in providing safeguards from dangerous methane pollution that will help solve the climate crisis, protect public health, and create good careers in the clean economy. These new critical and enforceable safeguards will help protect the health of environmental justice communities and those living on the frontlines of oil and gas extraction as well as the health and safety of energy workers.

The EPA estimates that total resulting emission reductions from 2024 to 2038 are estimated to be 58 million tons of methane, a greenhouse gas responsible for over a quarter of the planet’s current warming.


Other Federal Updates

Defend our Health: Tell Your Governor that the EPA Must Set Strong Air Pollution Standards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is about to finalize air quality standards for fine particulate matter and your voice is desperately needed! While we have been fighting to strengthen the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for fine particle pollution, the fossil fuel industry has been spending millions to convince the EPA to adopt weaker standards.

Weaker standards will leave our communities and our patients exposed to this dangerous pollutant. Add your name in support of the strongest PM2.5 standards >

The nation urgently needs a suite of strong protections finalized that will clean up pollution from cars, trucks and power plants. Join the American Lung Association in thanking President Biden and EPA for strong methane limits and urging them to get the rest of their clean air to-do list across the finish line. Sign the letter >

The Fifth National Climate Assessment

To equip Americans with the best available science and understanding of climate change impacts in the United States, President Biden released the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5) on November 14, 2023. NCA5 is a congressionally mandated interagency effort that provides the scientific foundation to support informed decision-making across the United States by assessing changes in the climate, its national and regional impacts, and options for reducing present and future risk. It indicates that not only is every region of the country already experiencing the impacts of climate change, but ambitious climate action is underway in every region as well.

 

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