SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
1. EPA Takes Big Step Forward for Climate
Southeast poised to benefit from new limits on carbon dioxide emissions
On June 2, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Clean Power Plan, the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution for existing fossil fuel plants. These long-awaited standards will be implemented under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act and will serve as a critical piece of a multi-faceted approach to reduce carbon pollution that causes climate disruption and threatens public health. The proposed carbon standards call for a 30 percent reduction from 2005 levels in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants by the year 2030. These standards for existing power plants follow the proposed standards for new fossil fuel plants that were first released in March 2012 and were re-released, after EPA received significant public comments, in September 2013.
Since electricity production generates one-third of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions – and is our nation’s largest contributor to climate change – this move is a big step in the right direction! The Southeast is especially poised to reap significant benefits from the proposed rule due to our high reliance on coal. In 2012, over 366 million tons of CO2 were emitted from 82 coal-fired power plants across 8 Southeastern states – contributing almost one quarter of our national CO2 emission totals!
Our Southeastern region is increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change given our vast, low-lying coastline which is already experiencing sea level rise and coastal flooding; our warmer-than-average annual temperatures, which foster the spread of tropical diseases; and our tourism and agrarian-based economies, which are threatened by a growing number of extreme weather events. While a few states and local communities here in the Southeast are taking action on climate change, we welcome this new federal safeguard that will set limits on carbon pollution at dirty power plants across our region and the nation as a whole in order to spur the kind of innovation that will power America with clean energy in the 21st century.
Please join us for a June 16 webinar to learn more about the proposed standards and what they mean for the Southeast.
To comment on EPA’s proposed carbon standards for existing fossil fuel plants, visit SACE’s Take Action page.
In Atlanta July 29? Consider registering to speak at the Official EPA Atlanta Hearing.
2. Floridians Ask: What’s Your Plan, Governor?
Concerned advocates, citizens look for climate change plan
In South Florida, human caused climate change isn’t a debate, it’s reality. We have an obligation to our kids and future generations to protect them from danger. Right now industrial carbon pollution is fueling climate change, which threatens our health, is dangerous to Florida’s coral reefs, beaches and tourism, raises our homeowners’ insurance costs, and puts our drinking water at risk.
What’s Your Plan, Gov? is a new, collaborative campaign dedicated to making sure that Florida’s next governor has a plan to invest in a clean energy economy, hold utilities accountable for cleaning up their carbon pollution, and protect the state from the impacts of climate change. With the newly-proposed standards to limit carbon pollution from power plants, we need Gov. Scott to strongly support these new rules and lead the Sunshine State by embracing solar power and energy efficiency.
Do you agree that Florida voters need to know if he has a plan to deal with climate change? Then take a minute to sign this petition here, and let Governor Scott know that silence isn’t the answer.
Attending one of Governor Scott’s events in the near future? Ask him the question in person and film it; you could receive $100 reward! Details here.
Thanks to our loyal customers, we are excited to celebrate the second anniversary of our retail biodiesel fueling station in Atlanta. Through the direct sales from the retail station alone, 582,712 lbs of carbon dioxide have been saved and hundreds of barrels of oil were displaced – making an important impact on the environment.
Our retail biodiesel station continues to be model for truly sustainable biodiesel production and use in Georgia and remains the only biodiesel in the country produced using 100% solar energy. It is also completely locally sourced, meaning that every cent is pumped right back into the Georgia economy.
We were pleased to double our sales over the past year, receiving strong neighborhood support, providing fuel to new film and music industry customers, local residents, local fleets, and travelers. We also increased our social media presence this year to stay more engaged with our loyal customers and future customers.
We look forward to continuing our presence in Atlanta and serving as YOUR local provider of the most environmental-friendly, solar-powered fuel available in Atlanta. Please continue to tell your friends, contractors, gardeners, farmers and local restaurants about using biodiesel. Please share our video http://bit.ly/CEBvideo, “Like” us on Facebook www.facebook.com/cleanenergybiofuels, follow us on Twitter @CleanEnergyBio, or check us out on the web at www.cleanenergybiofuels.com.
On Saturday, May 17, communities throughout the Southeast held events to say “no” to risky fossil fuels and “yes” to clean energy as part of the 5th annual Hands Across the Sand day of action. The Southeast hosted dozens of the 101 events held across the country, which were joined by events in 8 other countries around the world. Each gathering was proof that saying “no” risky fossil fuels and “yes” clean energy is a concept that transcends geographic, cultural, and ideological boundaries.
Hands Across the Sand has taken place annually since its inception in 2010 and SACE is proud to have been an original sponsor and has served on the steering committee since 2012. Over the past four years, thousands of events have taken place in all 50 states and in 44 countries worldwide. Initially, the event was focused solely on offshore drilling, but the past three years have incorporated opposition to coal, fracking, and tar sands as well. This year, there was a heavy emphasis on seismic exploration for offshore oil and gas in the Atlantic and the Keystone XL pipeline at many of the events, as communities made their voices heard to the Obama administration on these two critically timely matters.
The events themselves are simple yet powerful: at 12:00 noon in each local time zone, participants form a line and join hands, physically and figuratively drawing a line in the sand. Equally powerful is the message: these treasured places people have gathered at are worth more than the short-term profits that risky industries might be able to extract from them.
This year, we had 33 events right here in the Southeast, from North Carolina down to Florida and over to Louisiana, including the Charleston, S.C. event held on Folly Beach that SACE organized. Residents of these 33 communities stood up for clean water and clean air, for healthy beaches, for wildlife, and for the awesome quality of life we enjoy here in the Southeast.
The evidence keeps piling up that fossil fuel industries are risky and dangerous for our region: from the BP offshore oil disaster in the Gulf in 2010 to the Kingston, Tennessee coal ash spill in 2008 and the Dan River, North Carolina coal ash spill earlier this year.
In the Southeast, our economy relies on clean, healthy beaches, lakes, and rivers, and a thriving coast. Hundreds of thousands of Southeasterners work in the tourism and fishing industries, which generate billions of dollars per year and are anchored by the presence of a clean, beautiful environment. Jeopardizing these critical, established industries for high-risk offshore drilling would be a grave mistake and a disservice to our communities.
The good news is that we can create energy jobs right here without the threat to our mainstay industries. Solar, wind, biopower, and energy efficiency can provide for much of our energy needs while creating little to no pollution and supporting a vibrant economy. Alternative transportation fuels, such as biofuels, and electric vehicles reduce our need for more oil, and alternative transportation such as bicycling or public transit not only reduce oil consumption, but also alleviate traffic, and help us stay healthier.
The message we sent on May 17 is that tapping clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency will ensure a thriving, vibrant clean economy now and in the future.
See event photos here: https://www.flickr.com/groups/joinhands/