Foundation Support for EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants

Posted by Lissa Widoff on Monday, December 8 2014

Fellows:

As I write this post on the eve of my sabbatical and see the snow falling outside my office window, I think more and more about storms, their severity, their signal to us about irregular weather patterns and the increased carbon in our atmosphere as a result of burning fossil fuels. I reflect on the passage of time and that I am two generations removed from the Switzer Foundation founder’s direct experience of environmental issues and concerns. Back then, pollution prevention meant finding “end of pipe” solutions. Now, we are looking at deep, systemic, interconnected issues affecting our ecosystems, human communities and ways of life for us and others around the globe.

Climate change is undeniably the issue of my generation. We can’t help but see this as a unifying thread among our issues and actions.  As a foundation, our focus is on our Fellowship Program and related program grants. Now, we are also shining a light on the investment side, as many other foundations are doing, and we have committed to divest from investments in fossil fuels and invest in a clean energy economy.

In August we committed to divest and in November we chose to stand with our colleagues in NGOs, academia, private sector and government who are striving to use every avenue within our means to communicate our vision for reducing carbon in the atmosphere.  The Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation joined 66 other foundations supporting the principles behind the EPA proposed rule to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants

On June 2, 2014, the Environmental Protection agency, under President Obama's Climate Action Plan, proposed a commonsense plan to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants. The Clean Power Plan will maintain an affordable, reliable energy system, while cutting pollution and protecting our health and environment now and for future generations. This proposal supersedes an earlier effort in 2012 to limit carbon pollution

We are proud to stand with our colleagues to do all we can to communicate our beliefs and to ensure that the rules by which polluters continue to operate will take into account the health and environmental impacts of greenhouse emissions. We will continue to leverage our standing as funders and investors and join my philanthropic colleagues in modeling the leadership we hope others will follow.

Please read our letter and post any questions or comments below.

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