Climate Groups Call On Power Companies to Reject EEI’s Extreme Position on EPA Carbon Standards

Today, Evergreen Action and a group of climate advocacy organizations sent a letter to the CEOs of Edison Electric Institute’s (EEI) full list of member companies, calling on them to clarify their stance on their trade organization’s extreme opposition to EPA’s proposed carbon standards.

The letter, from Evergreen Action and 28 other climate advocacy groups, outlines how EEI’s attempts to weaken EPA’s proposed carbon standards amidst a climate-fueled heat wave that has produced the hottest summer recorded in over 100,000 years are completely out of step with its member companies’ individual commitments to decarbonization. Alignment with EEI on its public comments would stand in direct opposition to decarbonization commitments, which member companies have continued to tout in public relations and marketing materials. 

In the letter, Evergreen and its partners encourage utilities to renounce EEI’s extreme stance publicly and support sensible emissions controls while continuing to leverage the hundreds of billions of dollars available under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to control pollution and build a clean energy grid that benefits workers, utility customers, and businesses alike.


“During the hottest summer ever recorded, EEI is attempting to tear apart one of our best chances at ramping down the pollution that’s fueling the climate crisis,” said Evergreen Action Executive Director Lena Moffitt. “The power sector is the second largest contributor of the greenhouse gas emissions that are warming our planet and placing hundreds of millions of Americans under extreme heat warnings. EPA’s proposed carbon standards are both common sense and one of the most powerful tools we have to ramp down that pollution. It’s a win-win situation for utilities that provide power to customers across the country. Yet, EEI is attempting to speak on behalf of all utilities in a last-ditch effort to weaken EPA’s carbon standards and further tie us to an energy economy that only benefits leaders of the oil, gas, and coal industries. We call on utilities nationwide to live up to their decarbonization commitments by publicly rejecting EEI’s comments.”

You can read Evergreen and its partners’ full letter here.

In a reported letter to EPA, EEI is attacking the proposed carbon standards for new and existing power plants in an effort to withdraw common-sense emissions reductions and scrap existing gas-powered plants from the proposed rule (which currently covers both gas and coal-fired power plants) entirely. EEI’s proposed changes would kneecap the effectiveness of EPA’s proposal, and undercut a critical opportunity to address emissions from the second most carbon-polluting sector of our economy. EEI’s shortsighted effort breaks with its own clean energy rhetoric and the strong commitments of many of its member utilities. 

Evergreen has been calling on EPA to finalize strong carbon standards because they are essential to fulfill EPA’s mandate to protect Americans’ health and welfare from the carbon pollution fueling the climate crisis. The Clean Air Act requires EPA to regulate carbon pollution from power plants—and their authority to do so was reaffirmed by Congress last year in the IRA. 

According to modeling from NRDC, robust carbon standards, alongside IRA implementation, could reduce power sector emissions by up to 77 percent below 2005 levels by the end of the decade. You can review this modeling and read more about how we can decarbonize the electricity sector in our paper, Powering Toward 100 Percent Clean Power by 2035.”

Evergreen is joined on this letter by:

League of Conservation Voters
Sunrise Movement
Sierra Club
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Southern Environmental Law Center
Common Defense
Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
Healthcare Without Harm
George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication Battle Born Progress
U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development
Change the Chamber - Lobby for Climate
Faith in Place
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Michigan League of Conservation Voters
Michigan Clinicians for Climate Action
Moms Clean Air Force - ArizonaArizona Climate Action Coalition
Elders Climate Action - Arizona
Consolidated Oregon Indivisible Network
Climate Cabinet Action
Michigan United
New York Communities for Change
Michigan Environmental Council
Vermont Climate and Health Alliance
Elders Climate Action
Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health