The impacts of our increasingly warming planet are evident and alarming. Here in the Southeast, we are experiencing record-breaking hurricanes, snowstorms, droughts, and other extreme weather. The seasons are intensifying, giving us erratic winters and hotter summers: the 2014 National Climate Assessment forecast “significant increases” in the number of hot days (95°F or above) in the Southeast.
Sea-level rise is flooding coastal communities, wreaking havoc on roads, rail lines and other public infrastructure, and threatening fresh water supplies for the coastal population.
Doctors, nurses and other health experts correlate some of these changes with increased rates of asthma, insect-borne illnesses like Lyme’s disease and dengue fever, and other health impacts. Farmers and others in the agricultural sector—a major economic engine in our region—are seeing severe impacts to a whole host of crops.
The carbon rule
In 2009, in accordance with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and based on decades of research among international scientists, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concluded that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare. Thus, the agency assumed legal responsibility to regulate carbon under the Clean Air Act. To do this, the EPA is following a process almost identical to what we have for controlling mercury, sulfur dioxide, arsenic and other air emissions.
Moving America past coal and other fossil fuels will create jobs and foster scientific and technical innovation in a clean energy economy for the 21st century. Yet, the fossil-fuel industry and its allies in Congress have been attacking the EPA for years in anticipation of a limit on carbon pollution from power plants, making false claims that it will hurt the economy. In preparing the carbon rule, the EPA held several, well-attended public meetings around the country, and also met with stakeholders from state agencies, industry and others to get input to ensure the new standards are fair and reasonable. [ Learn more about the EPA rule making on power plant emissions ]
Appalachian Voices is working to cut carbon emissions in the region through our programs to promote energy efficiency and clean energy economies throughout the Southeast.
Learn more about our:
- Energy Savings Campaign in North Carolina and Tennessee
- New Power for the Old Dominion campaign in Virginia