On Monday, June 3, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a plan to cut carbon pollution from the nation’s power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
While the announcement was welcomed by environmentalists, it generated considerable controversy among some politicians and business owners.
According to Stephen Ashkin, recognized as the “father of Green Cleaning” and a long-time advocate for environmental and sustainability issues, “the plan is aimed primarily at cutting pollution from coal-fired plants, which are the primary contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.”
Reacting to the plan, Governor Mike Pence of Ashkin’s home state of Indiana, said the plan would be “devastating…[in his state, resulting in] higher costs for electricity, lost jobs, and lost business growth.”
Responding to the Governor’s comments, “we have heard comments like this before,” says Ashkin.
“In all due respect to the Governor, what usually happens is new technologies are developed that not only help organizations meet the new environmental standards, but create new jobs and new industries along the way. This is precisely what has happened in the cleaning industry and the same will happen in other industries as well.”
It is because of this that Ashkin suggests the professional cleaning industry support the new plan, based on its own experience embracing Green and environmental issues.
“As an industry we have proven that we can make significant changes to reduce our impact on the environment and on human health…[and that] invariably these changes are a win-win for all segments of our industry and those that we serve.”
Further, he suggests the new regulations may be easier to meet than many critics realize. Emissions from power plants have already declined in the U.S. by about 13 percent from the 2005 baseline and a study by M.J. Bradley, a Boston consulting firm, found that the 100 largest power producers in the country have steadily been reducing pollutants including carbon dioxide.1
“And we must remember a healthy environment means a healthy economy,” adds Ashkin. “They are not separate, they are totally interconnected; we can no longer have one without the other.”
1 New York Times Editorial, June 2, 2014.