What: EPA Letter-Writing Marathon! Goal: 1000 Letters by Dec. 1st
When: December 01, 2014 at 11pm
Details:

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The public comment period on EPA's proposed rules on CO2 emissions from existing power plants (that's 40% of US emissions!) ends on December 1st; if we blanket the EPA with another 2 million comments like we did on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline we can have a huge impact, far greater even than stopping KXL. Of course this time we're *supporting* the EPA's proposed rules! Let's aim to send out 1000 hand-written letters to the EPA by December 1st!

You can help by asking your circle of people (family, friends, club, house of worship, colleagues) to write a letter. The below package put together by 350SV members Kathy Pimental and Sister Ginny Pfluger really helps make the process easier. You can download and print each of the 4 items at the below links. Then you can put each of the 4 items in an envelope to hand out as "easy letter-writing kits" to your friends and colleagues. Finally, please let us know how many letters have gotten written so we can add to our tally.

1. Download Model Letter (a letter with suggested talking points you can mix & match)
2. Download Pre-Written Letter (a pre-written letter for those who don't have time to write their own letter)
3. Download Instructions (instructions on how to write and send letter)
4. FAQ About The Clean Power Plan

5. Click here to ADD TO OUR TALLY! We are keeping a tally of letters sent, with the goal of reaching 1000 letters, so please send the number of letters you have helped to get written (count all the "kits" you have given out to friends who are planning to write the letter after they see you) and send to: Deb350SV@comcast.net. I'll keep the thermometer up to date!

 

Below is the text for each of the above 4 files:

1. INSTRUCTIONS:  

Personal letters to the EPA carry infinitely more weight than online petitions or emails!  Here’s what you can do to support the Clean Power Plan. To have the most impact, write your own letter using the enclosed model letter and Q&A as a guide. The model letter will give you the format for address and reference Docket ID number. If you don’t have time to write your own letter, the next best thing is to sign and mail the ready-to-send letter. 

Important: Every letter must be signed, contain the docket reference ID number and include your address. The envelope should include your return address and the following EPA address (preferably handwritten). Comments must be received by December 1, 2014. 

Environmental Protection Agency
EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), Mail Code 28221T
Attention Docket ID No. OAR-2013-0602
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC, 20460

 

2. MODEL LETTER: 

We encourage you to write a personal letter. Below are a few talking points you might use as a guide, making them yours by putting them in your own words.

Environmental Protection Agency
EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), Mail Code 28221T
Attention Docket ID No. OAR-2013-0602
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC, 20460

Reference Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602

Dear Administrator McCarthy / EPA Administrator / Ms. McCarthy (choose one)

[Express your overall support for EPA’s Clean Power Plan]. Put it in your own words. This is particularly important for the first sentence so that the letter does not get categorized as a “me too”.  For example:

  • Thank you for proposing rules that will finally reign in power plant carbon and toxic pollution...
  • OR: I strongly support your Clean Power Plan and urge you to do whatever is necessary to bring about its full implementation.

[Why this power plant pollution rule matters]. Power plants, especially those fired by coal, are the largest source of carbon pollution in the United States, accelerating the climate crisis. They also pollute the air we breathe, the water we drink and the fish we eat, causing thousands of cancers and deaths annually.

[Why climate matters to you]. Include a personal anecdote on the impacts of climate change, how it has already impacted you or your family, how you are concerned for your kids and grandkids, include their names, make it personal!

[The CPP is good for jobs and the economy]. EPA’s clean power plan will create many new jobs in solar, wind and efficiency, outweighing any negative employment impacts in the coal industry.

[Tell EPA to increase the ambition of the plan]. While an important step in the right direction, EPA’s plan is not ambitious enough. It relies too much on natural gas which can be worse than coal for the climate when taking into account gas leakage from wells and distribution networks. EPA should include more efficiency, wind and solar, and less fossil fuels. There is no such thing as a clean fossil fuel…

[Push back against fossil fuel corporate interests]. I am aware of the intense pressure EPA is facing from the fossil fuel industry and its allies in Congress to weaken its proposal. I urge you to stand firm for the sake of our children. It is immoral to put short-sighted corporate profits ahead of their right to a safe and prosperous future in a stable climate.

Sincerely,

 

3. Pre-WRITTEN LETTER

Environmental Protection Agency
EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), Mail Code 28221T
Attention Docket ID No. OAR-2013-0602
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington DC, 2046

Reference Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602

Dear Administrator McCarthy:

        I strongly support your Clean Power Plan and urge you to do whatever is necessary to bring about its full implementation. Carbon pollution destabilizes our planet’s climate, threatening all species and civilization itself. I know we cannot reverse the damage begun centuries ago overnight, but we must begin now if we are to avert ecological disaster. While I believe that the EPA plan should be more ambitious (it relies too much on natural gas which can be worse than coal for the climate, and it should include more efficiency, wind and solar, and less fossil fuels), nevertheless, it represents an important first step in reducing the impact of carbon pollution. The plan will create green jobs, improve our nation’s health, and assure a stable planet for our children and grandchildren.

        No one thinks it will be easy to make the changes required by the Clean Power Plan.  I urge you to resist the naysayers, especially the fossil fuel industry who decry policies that threaten their continued growth and profits.  Their claims that the plan will cost jobs and place an unfair burden on the states are not true.  Statistics show that clean-energy investment generates more than three times the number of jobs as does investment in fossil fuels, far outweighing any negative employment impacts on the coal industry.  As for the states, your proposal allows them a good deal of flexibility in choosing how they will meet their goals. The plan, while not perfect, is fair and just. It represents a unique opportunity to make a real difference in the energy future of our country.

        In a world already suffering from rising seas, disastrous storms, raging wildfires, searing heat and unending drought, one often gets discouraged by the lack of good news.  The EPA’s Clean Power Plan lights a beacon of hope for the future and gives us a reason to be optimistic.  Maybe we won’t change the Earth’s atmosphere to the point of no return after all. 

Sincerely,     

  

4. FAQ About EPA Clean Power Plan

What is the EPA’s Clean Power Plan?  The "Clean Power Plan" is the Obama Administration's common-sense proposal to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants by up to 30% from 2005 levels by 2030.  

How was this authorized?  The Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the authority under the Clean Air Act to propose this rule for plants already permitted.  Earlier rules applied to new plants only.

Can the public weigh in on the plan?  Yes. The draft EPA standards are a proposal. The EPA is asking for public input and has extended the due date from October 16 until December 1, 2014.  The feedback it receives will be considered in writing the final plan a year from now.

Why is this plan necessary?  Existing power plants release half a billion tons of CO2 into the air each year. They are responsible for 40% of the carbon pollution in the United States, the largest single contributor to climate change. The EPA's Clean Power Plan would require reductions equal to canceling out the yearly carbon pollution from two thirds of all cars and trucks in America.

How will this benefit the average American?  The EPA estimates that for every dollar invested in complying with the plan, Americans would reap seven dollars in health benefits, in large part because of accompanying reductions in soot, sulfur dioxide and nitrogren oxides, which are linked to heart and lung illnesses.  When fully implemented, electricity bills are expected to be eight percent lower than they would be without the plan.

How will the plan be implemented?  The EPA does not prescribe how a state should meet its goals but offers instead a wide flexibility in how they can achieve reductions. Possible choices include shutting down coal plants, installing energy efficiency technology, instituting cap and trade programs, leveling a state tax on carbon pollution, switching to natural gas, managing demand through incentives and efficiency measures, or any combination of the above.

Is the plan fair to coal-dependent states?  Yes.  Required reductions are tailored to the state's current power system, requiring less reduction in coal-dependent states.  Coal-heavy Indiana, for example, would need to make smaller percentage cuts than New York or Washington states.  

Will the plan cost jobs?  No, on the contrary!  Clean-energy investment generates more than three times the number of jobs within the United States as does spending the same amount of money in the fossil fuel sectors. The plan is not about jobs versus the environment; it is about creating good jobs in healthy communities on a living planet. 

Are there other alternatives to the clean Power Plan?  No. Given current political conditions, the only other option to the EPA's Clean Power Plan is doing nothing.

What are the chances of it being approved? The overwhelming majority of Americans support the idea of federal curbs on greenhouse gas emissions. A Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 70 percent of Americans of all political parties back federal carbon limits on existing power plants and that 63% said they would be willing to pay twenty dollars a month to curb emissions.  

Conclusion:  The EPA’s Clean Power Plan presents a unique opportunity to make a real difference in the energy future of our country.  The expanded use of reliable, affordable, renewable power is a critical tool in controlling pollution, increasing energy efficiency and reducing the threat of climate disruption.