By Tessa Cheek
Published July 30, 2014
The Colorado Independent
By noon on Tuesday it’s blisteringly bright in downtown Denver and the children of Climate Parents are squinting while they toss around miniature inflatable globes. A prop plane roars low overhead, collecting air quality samples.
“That plane only underscores why I’m here today. Carbon pollution is the public health threat of our time,” said Julie Moyle, a nurse with the Healthier Hospitals Initiative. Minutes out from testifying in favor of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Clean Power Plan, Moyle was about to join more than a hundred members of environmental and community groups to rally in support of the rules on Denver’s nearby Millennium Bridge.
Denver is playing host Tuesday and Wednesday of this week as the EPA opens its LEED-certified doors, inviting testimony from all over the region and nation on the agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan, which would cut overall carbon pollution from existing power plants to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The proposal is billed as part of the President’s Climate Action Plan and carried out through the EPA’s rulemaking authority under the Clean Air Act.
“Power plants are the biggest source of greenhouse emissions in country,” said Stacy Tellinghuisen, a senior analyst for Western Resource Advocates who testified in favor of the plan and its achievability in the West on Tuesday.
The EPA will collect testimony — strictly limited to 5 minutes per person — on the rules in four cities this week and written comments until mid-October. The final rules will come out this time next year. After that states will have one to three years to come up with their own compliance plans based on each state’s energy needs and ability to develop renewables.