Illana Naylor EPA Carbon Rule Testimony
Public Hearing in D.C. on the EPA's Proposed Clean Power Plan Testimonial, Wednesday, July 30, 2014.
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen of the EPA: Beth Conlin, William Niebling and Marguerite McLamb. Thank you for providing these listening sessions which indicates your love for and belief in democracy. Thank you for your patience for hearing over and over again information you already know but hopefully will provide you the support you need to go forward with this most important proposed rule for finding the best systems of CO2 emission reductions. My name is Illana Naylor, I live in Manassas, Virginia and I serve and practice as a Masters prepared, bedside Pediatric Nurse. In 2004 my Master's Thesis was entitled: "The Health Effects of Global Warming". I was laughed at by my professors who claimed that global warming was not a health care concern. What totally bamboozles me is how Climate Change became the political football it is today. So I also thank you, the representatives of the EPA, for acknowledging that climate change is real.
In your introduction, I quote: "This proposal is an important step toward achieving the Green House Gas (GHG) emission reductions needed to address the serious threat of climate change. GHG pollution threatens the American public by leading to potentially rapid, damaging and long-lasting changes in our climate that can have a range of severe negative effects on human health and the environment. CO2 is the primary GHG pollutant, accounting for nearly three-quarters of global GHG emissions and 82 percent of U.S. GHG emissions. The May 2014 report of the National Climate Assessment concluded that climate change impacts are already manifesting themselves and imposing losses and costs. The report documents increases in extreme weather and climate events in recent decades, damage and disruption to infrastructure and agriculture, and projects continued increases in impacts across a wide range of communities, sectors, and ecosystems." 1. Imagine with me a moment that we are all back in New Orleans during the overwhelming Katrina disaster. As a nurse, what I saw were people trapped in the Astro Dome for days with no water and nowhere to put human waste.
Children are my passion. Imagine again with me that the earth, no longer our mother who care for us, but a child, who is in danger of CO2 toxicity and asthma, struggling to breathe and to be free. Children are among our most vulnerable. I am here today to speak up for them. CO2 toxicity leads to irritability, asphyxiation and death for us all.
I am proud to support the Environmental Protection Agency in creating limits that should result in a significant reduction of carbon pollution from power plants for the first time in our nation's history. Power plants are responsible for 40 percent of the U.S. carbon pollution contributing to climate disruption. There are limits on the amount of mercury, sulfur, arsenic, cyanide, soot, and lead, but until recently there have been no limits on carbon pollution. While this proposal is a significant step "forward with the EPA and states partnering to reduce Green House Gas emissions in the U.S., and while this rule would achieve CO2 emission reductions from the power sector of approximately 30 percent from CO2 emission levels in 2005 and would result in net climate and health benefits of $48 billion to $82 billion" 2, I am deeply concerned that this proposal will not see these significant reductions until 2030. In the introduction, the proposal speaks of the health care cost savings as a result of CO2 emission reductions but this point is not repeated in the subsequent sections on the cost-benefit analysis of various alternatives.
Truly, thank you for your exhaustive work in developing and expanding upon the 4 Building Blocks. I agree that the best system for reducing emissions is for the states to use elements of all four blocks. I do however challenge the EPA's very low expectation of renewable energy overall. Germany is very committed to renewable energy. I quote from Wikipedia no less:
"Germany's renewable energy sector is among the most innovative and successful worldwide. The share of electricity produced from renewable energy in Germany has increased from 6.3 percent of the national total in 2000 to about 25 percent in the first half of 2012. In 2011 20.5% of Germany's electricity supply was produced from renewable energy sources, more than the 2010 contribution of gas-fired power plants. During the first six months of 2014, almost 31% of German electric power came from renewable sources, mainly wind, biogas and solar; this was more than came from brown coal. In 2010, investments totaling 26 billion euros were made in Germany's renewable energies sector. Germany has been called "the world's first major renewable energy economy". Siemens chief executive, Peter Löscher believes that Germany's target of generating 35 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2020 is achievable – and, most probably, profitable for Europe's largest engineering company. More than 21,607 wind turbines are located in the German federal area and the country has plans to build more wind turbines. As of 2011, Germany's federal government is working on a new plan for increasing renewable energy commercialization, with a particular focus on offshore wind farms. According to official figures, some 370,000 people in Germany were employed in the renewable energy sector in 2010, especially in small and medium sized companies. This is an increase of around 8 percent compared to 2009 (around 339,500 jobs), and well over twice the number of jobs in 2004 (160,500). About two-thirds of these jobs are attributed to the Renewable Energy Sources Act."
I understand that we are focusing in on Carbon emissions but does that mean we turn a blind eye to the environmental degradation resulting from natural gas and hydro fracking and nuclear energy? While I am deeply committed to all things environmental, I am most concerned about water integrity, access and water rights. Both hydrofracking and nuclear power are disastrous for our water ecosystem and without potable water we will all die. Bottled water companies will run out of ground water, not only in California but in every state. Has anyone yet figured out how to store and handle nuclear waste with its gazillion years' half-life? Gas pipelines are not on the table this afternoon as well but if you want to raise your voice for our one earth, come join me in New York City, Sunday, Sept. 21st.
Returning to best system emission reductions, I would urge you to continue to support demand-side energy efficiency at the highest level because it "supports not only reduced CO 2 emissions and carbon intensity of the power sector, but also reduced criteria pollutant emissions, cooling water intake and discharge, and solid waste production associated with fossil fuel combustion.3" You cannot have two best practices, one that seeks the 1.5 percent savings rate with a 0.25% annual increment versus a 1 percent savings rate with a either a 0.15 or 0.2% annual increment. They both cannot provide Best-practices level of performance .
So, my thanks to each of you, to the EPA and to Director Gina McCarthy for all of your work and for all of your efforts and for continuing to navigate the troubled waters and speaking out for the health of our planet and for all those who cannot speak on their own behalf.
Illana Naylor, MSN, CPN, RN
10294 S. Grant Ave.,
Manassas, Va. 20110-6135
Last Updated August 1, 2014