Climate Action: The NRDC’s New Energy Report

Climate change is rapidly accelerating in California, state report says

A new report from the environmental think tank, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) offers a sobering assessment of what’s driving greenhouse gas emissions from American power plants and asks our leaders to reconsider how energy markets can keep us both safe from the consequences of climate change and sustainable. The report’s executive summary states, “The nation’s most polluting power plants are the key drivers of climate change, and they must be changed to achieve national climate goals. If current federal policies on power plant emissions and market power continue unchallenged, the U.S. will likely miss its carbon reduction target of 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2040.” The report outlines a litany of proposed changes to power systems in the US. It also includes five recommendations for how best to address the problem of climate change.

The first recommendation is to eliminate the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon emissions. Second, the report recommends that we end the “marketization” of energy production. The NRDC says that the “EPA should not be able to regulate carbon emissions from new and existing power plants and should not set a national cap-and-trade system that would establish a market for power plants’ carbon emissions.” And it calls for repeal of the Endangered Species Act, the Powerplant and Industrial Fuel Quality Standards Act, the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutant Emissions, the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollution and the Clean Air Interstate Rule.

“We believe California’s energy system is the most important driver of climate change in America,” reads the report. “That’s why the California Energy Commission must lead the fight against these threats. And it is also why the commission needs the help of its colleagues at the federal, state and local levels, as well as from the private sector.”

The NRDC is pushing California to go beyond clean energy to climate action. It argues that we need to “reinvent” the state�

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