Carbon pollution from electric power plants is the largest contributor to climate change and extreme weather. In Missouri, power plants released 87 million tons of carbon pollution in 2011, equal to the annual emissions of 18 million cars. While the amounts of arsenic, mercury, and soot these plants emit currently are limited, the EPA’s proposed standards are the first time carbon pollution would be added to the mix.
Many organizations, including the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Renew Missouri, Midwest Coalition for Responsible Investment, Labadie Environmental Organization (LEO), and Environment Missouri support the development of a state plan with input from stakeholders that achieves federal clean air standards in a way that addresses Missouri’s unique challenges. While the Republicans in opposition to the EPA claim that following their standards would raise electricity bills substantially, touting the effectiveness of clean coal on the environment, the Natural Resources Defense Council in a detailed economic analysis shows the potential for Missouri to create almost 4,000 efficiency-related jobs while cutting electric bills and curbing carbon pollution.
“Missouri has an opportunity to create jobs, spur energy innovation, and protect our health with a strong state plan that curbs carbon pollution,” said Heather Navarro of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. This line of thinking is backed by a recent poll conducted in June 2014 for ABC News and The Washington Post indicating that the public strongly favors limits on carbon pollution.
For the NRDC carbon pollution standards fact sheet go here.