Menendez Applauds New Carbon Pollution Standards

Menendez Applauds New Carbon Pollution Standards

NEWARK, NJ - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) applauded the Administration's action today to strictly limit the amount of carbon pollution that power plants can pour into the atmosphere. While power plants are currently subject to restrictions on arsenic, lead, mercury, cyanide, the new standard creates the first-ever limits on carbon pollution from coal and natural gas plants.Earlier this year, Sen. Menendez led a letter to President Obama calling for the kind of executive action taken today to curb carbon pollution.

"Today's decision by the EPA to set strong carbon pollution standards for power plants is the right thing to do to protect public health and our environment for future generations," said Sen. Menendez."We know that limiting carbon emissions can help reduce the impact of severe weather events like Superstorm Sandy as well as droughts, floods and wildfires. These proposed carbon pollution standards will prevent future power plants from dumping unlimited carbon pollution into the air and help protect our children from the health risks and threat of climate change."

Power plants account for 40% of the carbon pollution in the United States. In 2011, power plants and major industrial facilities in New Jersey alone emitted more than 25 million metric tons of carbon pollution - that is equal to the yearly pollution from more than 5.4 million cars. In New Jersey, there were close to 2,500 hospital admissions for asthma in 2011, with an average charge of over $15,000 for each stay. In addition to the daily public health risks caused by carbon pollution, it also drives longer-term risks in the form of rising seas levels and more unpredictable weather.

"As the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy approaches, we continue our efforts to restore the New Jersey Shore and build it stronger than ever," Menendez added. "But we also must take common-sense steps, as the one taken today, to preserve and strengthen our environment's resilience to climate change impacts - including the reduction of carbon pollution from power plants."

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