EPA hearings in Pittsburgh bring out climate activists

  • Reid Frazier
Members of the public gather at a climate rally outside EPA hearings in Pittsburgh, November 12, 2015. The EPA is currently taking public comment on the Clean Power Plan, which aims to cut emissions from coal-fired power plants and provides incentives for renewable energy.

Reid Frazier / Allegheny Front

Members of the public gather at a climate rally outside EPA hearings in Pittsburgh, November 12, 2015.

The EPA’s plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants should be as strong as possible to curtail the worst impacts of climate change. That was the message coming from a stream of speakers at a public hearing on the plan in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

Thursday’s hearing was the first of four to be held around the country this month to collect public comment about the new rules. The EPA’s Clean Power Plan was finalized in August and seeks to cut carbon emissions from the electric sector by 32 percent of 2005 levels by the year 2030.

The plan gives states the option to come up with their own ways to cut down on carbon pollution. If they don’t put together their own plas, states will have to accept a federal plan, which involves a cap-and-trade system. Pennsylvania is planning to submit its own plan, but environmentalists said what goes into the federal plan is still relevant for the state.

Jamin Bogi of the Pittsburgh-based Group Against Smog and Pollution said a strong federal plan would protect the state from air pollution in the event that upwind states decide against submitting proposals. Continue reading more from The Allegheny Front.