DAVID VOGNAR, Huff Post Green
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held hearings in Chicago's Ralph H. Metcalfe Federal Building on Thursday in which members of the public were invited to express their opinions about (but more often than not, expressed their adulation over) the proposed carbon pollution standards for new power plants. With moments of compelling commentary, the forum provided a pressing reminder that there are real victims of our choice to pollute or put up with pollution, and in many instances those victims are from low-income areas.
Some of the comments dealt with the nuts and bolts of the regulation. The EPA would restrict emissions to 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour, compared to the average 1,800 pounds per megawatt hour that power plants emit. One woman opposed to the proposed carbon pollution standards for new power plants cited a Fox News report and highlighted the potential for the regulation to impact electricity bills. (Plenty of economists would disagree with her.) Seated next to her at the front of the room waiting to speak was Lawrence Lemon, a man from Columbus, Ohio, whose poignant story of how air pollution impacted his family would make the woman's claims sound insouciant.