Stephen A. Fuqua (saf)

a Bahá'í, software engineer, and nature lover in Austin, Texas, USA

Public Comment on Proposed EPA Standards for New Fossil-Fuel Power Plants

The EPA has a proposed new standard for fossil fuel-burning power plants, which will be constructed in the future, that will help ensure a lower carbon future and hopefully spur innovation in the electric industry. They are accepting public comments through June 25th.  There are a number of organizations that will help you provide comments directly to the EPA, such as the National Council of Churches or the Union of Concerned Scientists. My letter, with extra citations, is below.


Dear Administrator Jackson,

I am writing in support of the proposed “new source performance standards” [1] for fossil fuel power plants (Docket number EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0660).

It is now well established that Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions are a form of pollution that damage the health and well-being of our communities - in American and abroad [2]. Global climate change, largely driven by anthropogenic GHG releases [3], is known to be causing present disruptions to our weather patterns, consequently affecting agriculture, biodiversity, and extreme weather events [4]. These effects are widespread. Mitigating them should be a concern for all who care about their neighbors near and far, the Earth on which we depend, and the richness of life that gives physical and spiritual sustenance to us.

Although market forces are inexorably pushing the power-generating economy in a more sustainable direction, the ecosystems we live and breathe in, that nourish and nurture us, cannot continue waiting for us to clean up our act. We need strong federal regulations, such as this proposed standard for new power plants, to provide a uniform push toward a lower environmental impact from the electricity driving our daily lives. By placing these reasonable constraints on industry, investment and innovation will be channeled in directions more conducive to the amelioration of our impact on the Earth [5].

Although much more work must be done to prevent the harm we are doing to the Earth and to our fellow humans from becoming permanent [6], this standard is a good step toward ensuring a lower GHG future in the United States. I support the EPA’s efforts to finalize these rules as they stand or in an even stronger variation.


Stephen A. Fuqua
Grand Prairie, TX


  1. EPA FACT SHEET: Proposed Carbon Pollution Standard for New Power Plants (EPA)
  2. Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act (EPA)
  3. The Influence of Other Anthropogenic and Natural Forcings (IPCC)
  4. Increased flood risk linked to global warming (Nature)
  5. Human Pollution Tipping Scales toward More Weather Extremes (Scientific American)
  6. Causes of Observed Changes in Extremes and Projections of Future Changes (multi-institutional report)
  7. When Regulations Promote Innovation (_Innovation Excellence _blog)
  8. The Porter Hypothesis After 20 Years: How Can Environmental Regulation Enhance Innovation and Competitiveness? (talks delivered at a Resources for the Future conference)
  9. Warming nears point of no return, scientists say (San Francisco Chronicle, reporting about a new peer-reviewed article in Nature)

Posted with : Social Discourse, Climate Change