Atlanta, Ga. (February 15, 2011) – Today the Environmental Protection Agency will hear from environmental groups and environmental justice advocates about their thoughts on the first-ever process to set standards (New Source Performance Standards) to control greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other large emission sources. Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s Diversity and Community Partnerships Coordinator, Seandra Rawls will participate in the Listening Session from 1:00 pm -3:00 pm at the Sam Nunn Federal Building and is available for press comment before and after the session. In addition to formal comments made during the listening session, Seandra Rawls offered the following statements: “We call on EPA to set strong greenhouse gas pollution standards that will safeguard human health, protect the climate while driving market development and industry innovations to move our electric generation away from reliance on the carbon intensive dirty coal that currently monopolizes power production in the Southeast. EPA can help usher in the era of clean energy and drive the retirement of dirty old coal facilities by setting ambitious GHG standards.” “In this day and age there is no excuse for building new coal plants, and those that require major modifications should be retired and not further bandaged. EPA should provide strong and detailed guidance to states on how to adopt and enforce standards to increase power plant efficiency and significantly limit the pollution of any coal plants that must remain online.” “The Southeast is one of the most vulnerable regions in the country to the impacts of climate change and yet we disproportionately contribute to carbon emissions with our heavy reliance on dirty coal power. Over 350 Million tons of carbon dioxide were emitted in 2009 in the Southeast alone – comparable to emission levels of countries like Japan and Germany.” “Roughly 80 percent of all US counties that experience persistent poverty are located in the Southeast. This geographic disparity, coupled with other social factors such as age, race, employment status and poverty level makes our region’s constituents the most vulnerable to climate change impacts like sea level rise, stronger hurricanes, and hotter temperatures. The threat of climate change to our region’s people is urgent and serious; EPA’s action to set strong standards and help solve climate change cannot come soon enough.” “It is important that science, not politics, drives EPA’s decision in setting new GHG standards to ensure that all communities, particularly low-income and minority populations, are not put at any increased or substantial threat from new technologies to capture, offset, or sequester carbon dioxide.” # # # Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a not-for-profit, non partisan organization working to promote responsible energy choices that solve global warming problems and ensure clean, safe, healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Please visit www.cleanenergy.org for more information.