McCarthy enlists low-carbon businesses to help tout rule

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, July 25, 2014

U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy yesterday asked low-carbon industry advocates to help spread the word about the economic and job-creation opportunities she said would be created by EPA’s greenhouse gas proposal for existing power plants.

McCarthy told environmental entrepreneurs on a call hosted by the green business group Business Forward that she needed their help in communicating the positive message about greenhouse gas reduction.

“I really want you to start bragging about yourselves and showing off,” she said, adding that she frequently touted the work U.S. companies are doing to develop new technologies that can help reduce emissions while boosting productivity.

McCarthy’s appearance came ahead of next week’s round of listening sessions on the June 2 proposal, which will be held in Denver, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

McCarthy told participants on the call that she expects “hundreds of groups and thousands of people” to show up at the four two-day events and hopes that the pro-environmental protection industry will be among them.

“We really need your help,” she said.

The sessions are likely to draw fossil fuels industry advocates and others who will criticize the rule on economic grounds. In fact, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — a staunch ally of his state’s coal industry — will testify at the event in Washington.

But McCarthy said yesterday that the rule does not prohibit the use of fuels, it simply requires states to take steps to ensure they emit less carbon. These steps, in turn, can create new industries and new jobs, she said.

The draft will “make a little shift from the technologies of the past to open up doors to the technologies of the future.”

The rule seeks to trim 30 percent from utility-sector greenhouse gas emissions compared with 2005 levels over the next 15 years. It allows states to play a leading role in determining how those reductions would be made through implementation plans that would start coming due in June 2016.