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EPA to “hit the ground running” in 2016


This news story was published on January 4, 2016.
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By Gina McCarthy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator –

Heading into 2016, EPA is building on a monumental year for climate action—and we’re not slowing down in the year ahead. Last August, President Obama announced the final Clean Power Plan, EPA’s historic rule to cut carbon pollution from power plants, our nation’s largest driver of climate change. Then in Paris last month, nearly 200 countries came together for the first time ever to announce a universal agreement to act on climate.

So we’re hitting the ground running. Under the Paris Agreement, countries pledge to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius at most, and pursue efforts to keep it below 1.5 degrees Celsius. Science tells us these levels will help prevent some of the most devastating impacts of climate change, including more frequent and extreme droughts, storms, fires, and floods, as well as catastrophic sea level rise. This agreement applies to all countries, sets meaningful accountability and reporting requirements, and brings countries back to the table every five years to grow their commitments as markets change and technologies improve. It also provides financing mechanisms so developing economies can move forward using clean energy.

This year, we’ll build on these successes to ensure lasting climate action that protects Americans’ health, economic opportunity, and national security. EPA staff will provide their technical leadership to ensure consistent, transparent greenhouse gas reporting and inventory requirements under the Paris Agreement. Our domestic expertise in air quality monitoring and greenhouse gas inventories will help countries make sure they’re meeting their greenhouse gas reduction goals. Similarly, we’ll use our expertise to identify and evaluate substitutes in the U.S. to reduce hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), another potent climate pollutant. This work domestically will help us lead global efforts to finalize a requirement in 2016 for countries to reduce production and use of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol.

We will finalize a proposal to improve fuel economy and cut carbon pollution from heavy-duty vehicles, which could avoid a billion metric tons of carbon pollution and save 75 billion gallons of fuel by 2027. We’ll also finalize rules to limit methane leaks from oil and gas operations—which could avoid up to 400,000 metric tons of a climate pollutant 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide by 2025. Meanwhile, we’re doubling the distance our cars go on a gallon of gas by 2025.

In 2016, EPA will defend and implement the Clean Power Plan by working closely with states and stakeholders to help them create strong plans to reduce their carbon pollution. We wrote this plan with unprecedented stakeholder input, including hundreds of meetings across the country and 4.3 million public comments. The result is a rule that’s ambitious but achievable, and falls squarely within the four corners of the Clean Air Act, a statute we have been successfully implementing for 45 years. We’re confident the Clean Power Plan will stand the test of time—the Supreme Court has ruled three times that EPA has not only the authority but the obligation to limit harmful carbon pollution under the Clean Air Act.

Just as importantly, the Paris Agreement and the Clean Power Plan are helping mobilize private capital all over the world toward low-carbon investments. The U.S. has sent a clear signal that a low-carbon future is inevitable, and that the market will reward those who develop low-carbon technologies and make their assets resistant to climate impacts. That’s why 154 of the largest U.S. companies, representing 11 million jobs and more than seven trillion dollars in market capitalization, have signed the White House American Business Act on Climate Pledge. Companies like Walmart, AT&T, Facebook, and Coca-Cola recognize that climate impacts threaten their operations, while investing in a low-carbon future is an unprecedented business opportunity.

Americans know climate action is critical—they’re seeing its impacts with their own eyes. Hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, and storms are growing more frequent and extreme. Streets in cities like Miami now flood on sunny days due to sea level rise. Climate change is a moral issue, a health issue, and a jobs issue—and that’s why the strong majority of Americans want the federal government to do something about it, and support the strong outcome in Paris.

We’ve got a lot more work to do, and we’re not slowing down. Over the past year, we’ve seen remarkable climate achievements that once seemed impossible—and that’s thanks to President Obama’s leadership. His climate legacy is already impressive, but we will build on it in 2016 by continuing to protect health and opportunity for all Americans. At EPA, we’ve got our sleeves rolled up.

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9 Responses to EPA to “hit the ground running” in 2016

  1. Avatar

    LVS Reply Report comment

    January 5, 2016 at 8:25 am

    You will change you mind (what little mind you have) real fast when your utility bills go through the roof. Who the hell do you think is going to pay for this B.S. It sure won’t be Alliant.

    • Avatar

      Honest Abe Reply Report comment

      January 5, 2016 at 8:40 am

      And you seriously think that Trump (if elected) is going to dis his billionaire business buddies like those named in this article? No way.

      • Avatar

        LVS Reply Report comment

        January 5, 2016 at 8:55 am

        No one but a fool believes in the crap Obama puts out. The climate is always changes and always has. A few years ago they were telling us the Earth was cooling. It is nothing but a political scam to redistribute wealth and control people and the lemmings are falling for it.

        • Avatar

          Honest Abe Reply Report comment

          January 5, 2016 at 9:29 am

          Not to mention that the Earth is Flat. Just be careful you don’t fall off because the cliff is on the North End of Mason City.

          • Avatar

            LVS

            January 5, 2016 at 9:59 am

            You are just what Obama needs. Another idiot who denies the truth.

  2. Avatar

    Honest Abe Reply Report comment

    January 5, 2016 at 8:15 am

    How can the Leaders of Business and Industry dare to differ with our very own LVS?

    That’s why 154 of the largest U.S. companies, representing 11 million jobs and more than seven trillion dollars in market capitalization, have signed the White House American Business Act on Climate Pledge. Companies like Walmart, AT&T, Facebook, and Coca-Cola recognize that climate impacts threaten their operations, while investing in a low-carbon future is an unprecedented business opportunity.

  3. Avatar

    Donald T. Rump Reply Report comment

    January 5, 2016 at 2:13 am

    Its gonna be hot when you arrive in Mexico amigo LVS. Bring you own ice water.

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 4, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Trump will get elected the same time that you get invited to join Mensa

  5. Avatar

    LVS Reply Report comment

    January 4, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    They will all be fired when Trump is elected.