Ohio’s power plants rank second in the nation in emitting carbon pollution, according to recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data. Private investor-owned utilities such as First Energy and American Electric Power operate the five leading pollution producers in Ohio that account for 50 percent of all the emissions in the Buckeye State. Just prior to the gathering at the 19th Conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 200 Ohioans rallied in front of the Ohio Statehouse demanding immediate action on global warming. The demonstration organized by Environment Ohio urged support for President Barack Obama’s plan to regulate carbon pollution at major U.S. power plants. “Our message today is clear. The time is now to act on climate change,” said Christian Adams, a state organizer with Environment Ohio. “Global warming threatens our health, our environment and our children’s future. Ohioans support President Obama’s plan to clean up the biggest carbon polluters.” The Obama plan directs the EPA to propose new standards for carbon pollution emissions for all existing and future power plants. U.S. power plants are the nation’s single largest source of carbon pollution responsible for an estimated 40 percent of all U.S. carbon emissions. On September 20, the Obama administration announced the first ever carbon standards affecting new power plants. The regulations block the construction of any new coal-fired power plant unless they are capturing and sequestering their carbon pollution. Mike Piepsny, the Executive Director of Environmental Health Watch noted that, “Every day we see how safeguards and regulations make the lives of children and families better. It is estimated that existing clean air regulations saved 160 lives last year.” Geoff Greenfield, President of Third-Sun Solar, an Athens-based solar installation company, told the crowd that we need to “invest in clean technology.” “Now, more than ever, we need our leadership to stand up for what the citizens of Ohio are asking for, action on clean energy and global warming,” Greenfield said.

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