EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Remarks to the Edison Electric Institute

(EPA 1-7-2010) Thank you for inviting me to join you today. I’m honored to be here with Senator Graham, a thoughtful and dedicated public servant. And I’m glad to have this chance to meet with all of you – particularly at the beginning of 2010, a year in which the issues we work on are going to play a major role.
We are on the cusp of major transitions for our environment, for our economy, for our energy industry. None of the changes will be without their challenges. But I’m here today because I believe we can find common ground to meet those challenges. Things happened in the last year that have given me hope on that point. I was glad to see EEI constructively engaged in the passage of responsible clean energy and climate legislation in the House. This organization deserves to be commended for that, and I believe your members saw positive results from coming to the table. In that same spirit, American automakers worked with EPA on our proposed clean cars rule. That marks the nation’s first formal effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil, avoid 900 million tons of greenhouse-gas pollution, and save drivers money at the pump. For its part, EPA crafted a mandatory reporting rule for greenhouse-gas emissions that avoids placing any burdens on small businesses. We are working to tailor stationary-source permitting requirements in a similar way. We know that the local coffee shop is no place to look for meaningful greenhouse reductions, and we don’t want to put anything in the way of those important economic drivers and job creators. Finally, earlier this week we were able to recommended approval for the Hobet 45 coal mine in West Virginia. That came about through close work with the mining company to reduce the health and environmental impacts of the project.
These are examples of the common ground I hope we can find. Because – one way or another – change is coming. On the one hand, we have the very real and growing threat of climate change…we have a shifting global economy in which competitor nations like China, Brazil, and Germany are outpacing us in the race for clean energy…and we have an increased dependence on foreign oil that threatens our national security and our economy. On the other hand is a change in the way we produce, deliver and use energy in America. A change that requires investment in the many billions of dollars – not the least of which will go towards critical updates in the fleet of coal plants that now supply our energy. It will require careful economic planning to protect consumers… as well as creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship to make our vision into a reality. We can either act, and bring change to the world and new jobs to America, or sit back and watch as the world brings change to us and employment continues to move abroad.
I am here today not to unveil anything new or make any news, but to speak directly to you, and find common ground for working together. I want this to be the beginning of a productive relationship. To paraphrase your namesake Thomas Edison, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it looks like work.” I believe the year ahead presents important opportunities for all of us. But to seize our opportunities, we have work to do.
To read the full article please go to: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/12a744ff56dbff8585257590004750b6/0c9568690ca582c1852576a400698c53!OpenDocument