Public testimony on EPA’s proposed new rule regards carbon pollution

This is my revised testimony to the EPA’s proposed new rule to limit carbon pollution, sent via the League of Women Voters’ (LWV) appeal to write in support of the rule. While the newly announced plan to cut carbon emissions is good in principle, it is weak in execution (for example, takes too long) and ignores the impact of methane emissions from fracking for shale gas, not to mention the carbon bomb of tar sands extraction that has not yet been ruled out, and so I revised the LWV public testimony as follows, in bold:

Dear Administrator McCarthy:

Good luck with this new rule, but until the President and EPA stop supporting the pumping of massive amounts of methane into the atmosphere with your support for shale gas drilling, I cannot really believe you are serious about halting global warming.

I do strongly support the EPA’s effort to limit industrial carbon pollution from all power plants, but only because I support even timid attempts at saving the planet for succeeding generations.

The new proposed standard to limit greenhouse gases from existing power plants is an important step in the fight against climate change.

Power plants contribute 40% of the carbon pollution in the United States making them the largest contributor of carbon emissions and the chief cause of climate change. This new clean air standard will protect public health, fight climate change, and create jobs through innovation in cleaner, safer energy technology. At the same time methane emissions from fracking put a more potent greenhouse gas into the atmosphere and undercut completely the gains being made to reduce carbon emissions.

It’s our moral obligation to put people before polluters. Unfortunately the President is not doing that with the shale and oil and tar sands industries. It is good to address the primary cause of climate change by stopping the unlimited dumping of carbon pollution into our air by power plants, but it is not enough by itself. Reducing the amount of carbon pollution from power plants is a life-saving measure that will protect our children, our nation and the world from the devastating effects of climate change. Now I need to see him halt the massive fugitive emissions of methane from fracking operations.

I stand by the President and EPA in support of this regulation. However, I have not yet concluded that the President has a plan for an affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy system. Sad to say, but true: we live a very far distance from President Obama’s campaign promises to stand up against Big Oil.


J. Stephen Cleghorn
Paradise Gardens and Farm
2771 Paradise Road
Reynoldsville, PA 15851

About jstephencleghorn

My name is Dr. J. Stephen Cleghorn. I am now a resident of Baltimore, MD. I continue to own a 50-acre certified organic farm in Jefferson County, PA that I operated with my late wife Lucinda between 2005 and 2011 when she passed away from cancer. The farm is now under lease to organic farmers and protected by "The Dr. Lucinda Hart-Gonzalez Conservation Easement” which protects it for organic agriculture and against the threats of industrial development that would violate the Rights of Nature. The blog’s name is taken from the writings of Saint Augustine who believed “Hope” to be the greatest of spiritual gifts. And, says Saint Augustine, Hope has two lovely daughters: Anger and Courage. Anger so that what must not be may not be; courage so that what should be can be. Anger and Courage. Now in late 2016, after the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, these are the spiritual gifts that must come to the fore if we are to have “Hope” for a loving culture and a sustainable world for future generations. When I first created this blog it was focused on the extreme form of fossil fuel extraction known as “fracking” that was threatening much of the state of Pennsylvania and many other parts of the United States. At the root of that struggle was and is a struggle to halt and reverse climate change. Now the struggle has turned to resisting an incoming Trump Administration that is an existential threat to the climate with its plans to ramp up extraction and use of fossil fuels. This blog will be about having the courage to stand up to the massive global corporations that would ruin our planet and its climate, take their profits and leave the mess to future generations of to clean up. We need to rise up, my friends, and be not afraid.
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