The EPA wants to scrap coal and emissions standards – here’s how to say NO!

No automatic alt text available.On Tuesday 23rd October, the Oregon DEQ held a public hearing that was a rare opportunity for Oregonians to comment on changes the EPA is proposing to standards for national automobile fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Three folks from 350PDX testified against these changes (see their comments below), and until the following dates you can submit comments too!



See some talking points here:…/1mYOlgTwArqssSFT0mxsgj3nvfUJ…/edit

Or take inspiration from the wonderful testifiers below.


“Give the EPA a piece of your mind ASAP!

That’s what I did Tuesday night at a public hearing on EPA rollbacks of vehicle and coal plant emissions standards. I was nervous to get up and speak, but after listening to 10 year girl say “It’s scary thinking when I grow up it won’t be safe anymore,” that was it for me.  So, I just told it like it is: the EPA’s new rules will increase greenhouse gas emissions, which will exacerbate climate change and harm our health and environment.  As you can imagine, the EPA doesn’t want to hear what people think about their proposed rules, and that’s exactly why you should speak up. You still have a tiny window of time to give them the what for. How to comment? Go to the bottom of this document from Neighbors for Clean Air for helpful talking points and the links to submit comments about vehicle emissions rules (SAFE) byOctober 26 and comments about the coal plant standards rule by October 31.”


“I went to speak out against the EPA’s proposal to keep fuel emission standards the same over the next 8 years because I can hardly concentrate on the joy of my daughter’s existence while in the back of my mind knowing that by the time she is a teenager, the planet will be destroyed, and not in a discrete, limited way like a forest cut down or a species wiped out, but in a severe and widespread way.  She will not be thinking about a career and college, she will be thinking, “Where can I live that is not deadly?” As early as 2030, intense storms, drought, smoke, and deadly heat will ravage the planet year after year for centuries to come. I found this information in the IPCC report’s Summary for Policymakers and Frequently Asked Questions documents. The IPCC report finds that there are very few to no strategies available to keep climate change in a livable zone if we do not cut our carbon emissions in half by 2030 and take them down to zero by 2050.  Transportation contributes to ⅓ of the US’s carbon output. The EPA’s fuel emission proposal creates more carbon than any of the proposals considered, increasing fuel efficiency by 0.0 percent (that is to say, no improvement at all). It is wholesale murder, that’s what it is. In light of the IPCC report, proceeding with the EPA’s greenhouse gas emissions proposals is suicide on a planetary scale.

When I attended the public comment session, I was furthermore horrified to learn that the EPA plans to remove state’s rights to set their own higher emission standards, as has been done in California.  This would mean that states would be powerless to cut carbon emissions from transportation and power plants. With the federal government doing all it can to hasten the demise of our livable climate, state legislation has been our great hope.  Do your own reading. Write your own letter. This is about the survival of the human race.

Time is running out.  We have 12 years left to transition to renewable energy. Public comments are due by October 26th.”


“My name is Anais Tuepker, I am the Interim Co-Executive Director of 350PDX as well as a public health researcher, and I am appalled that, at this moment in history the EPA is considering weakening standards on greenhouse gas emissions as proposed in the Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule and the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule. In health policy analysis, we’ve learned to be wary of pure cost analyses, because the cheapest health care, viewed narrowly enough, is no health care. That option is certainly cheap, and if you don’t count the costs of people being sick, unable to work, and dying prematurely – if you just keep all those things out of your analysis of costs and don’t consider the goal of health – it’s very “efficient.” 
The EPA‘s arguments for the proposed regulatory changes are just as ridiculous, just as disingenuous, and just as deadly. in these new proposals EPA focuses inappropriately on allowing individual car drivers/consumers (in the case of SAFE) and industrial polluters (in the case of ACE) to generate more greenhouse gas emissions and toxic emissions, because essentially lower prices and higher efficiency will allow them to pollute not just as much, but even more than currently, without higher costs to themselves. In addition, by loosening the rules on when existing power plant modifications need regulation, the proposed changes would weaken existing protections not just against increased greenhouse gas emissions but any and all kinds of toxic air pollution also resulting from such modifications. It’s like EPA is saying, as long as they stay within their budgets, we have to let them pollute as much as they can. But there is a global CO2 emissions budget EPA is  ignoring, and on that budget we are already far into the red. The report released last week by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) took a strong stand in telling the world what we need to do to avoid catastrophic climate disruption. Global CO2 emissions are going to have to be cut by 45% by 2030, and we’ll need to have transitioned to a zero-emissions economy by 2050. What’s encouraging is that the report also lays out ways in which the required rapid change is technically feasible. This is absolutely not the moment for either fatalism or pandering to short-term private interests. It is unconscionable that the EPA seeks now to set aside its legal obligations to set standards in line with the science and with the public interest.  The proposed changes violate EPA‘s responsibilities and should not be allowed. 
Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments.”