Sept. 20, 2013
Steve Moyer, Vice President for Government Affairs, (703) 284-9406
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Trout Unlimited Praises Environmental Protection Agency’s Efforts to Reduce the Carbon Pollution that Contributes to Climate Change
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Trout Unlimited today praised the Environmental Protection Agency’s new plans to set performance standards intended to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants.
TU has long advocated for building resilience in our nation’s trout and salmon watersheds to prepare them for the ongoing impacts of climate change. Without reasonable efforts to reduce climate change-causing emissions, increased warming—and the damage to fish habitat resulting from it—could outpace the resiliency of trout and salmon and reduce angling opportunities for coming generations.
Trout and salmon are on the front lines of the climate change impacts to the nation’s waterways. Increased wildfire risk, decreased snowpack, droughts in some places, and intense floods in others, will radically change trout and salmon habitat in the years to come. By mid-century, the reality for trout could be bleak—as much as 50 percent of suitable habitat for trout in the West could be lost, and a dramatic reduction of brook trout habitat in the East, including complete elimination from iconic watersheds such as Shenandoah National Park, could take place.
The proposed rule will require new power generation technology to reduce long-term carbon emissions. Reducing emissions from new power plants is an important way to help avert the worst of the warming and maintain healthy trout and salmon populations for future anglers to pursue.
“Trout Unlimited has worked for more than 50 years to conserve, protect and restore waterways so the next generation of anglers can fish for trout and salmon in their home waters,” said Jack Williams, senior scientist at Trout Unlimited. “Each year, TU members dedicate more than 600,000 volunteer hours to achieve this vision. We support scientifically-driven limits on carbon pollution so that our decades of hard work will not be undone.”
TU has a long history of supporting attempts to reduce air pollution when dictated by science, including the strongly bi-partisan amendments to the Clean Air Act in 1990. These amendments aimed to reduce the pollution that caused acid rain, and were impacting trout streams in vulnerable areas such as the Appalachians. The program has been a great success, reducing acid rain causing emissions to targeted levels ahead of schedule, with only one fourth of the predicted cost.
Once published in the Federal Register, the rule will be open for public comments for 60 days.
Trout Unlimited is the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America’s trout and salmon and their watersheds. Follow TU on Facebook and Twitter, and visit us online at tu.org.