States and municipalities across the US are showing support for President Obama’s (D) Clean Power Plan. Now they’re urging President-Elect Donald Trump (R) to keep the plan in place, which would reduce power plant emissions in the US by the equivalent of 160 million cars (70 percent of the annual emissions the nation’s passenger cars).
The letter was issued both to support the Clean Power Plan as practical policy and oppose a letter issued Dec. 14 letter from West Virginia and other states, requesting that Trump’s administration withdraw the plan. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman—Trump’s home state—penned the letter on behalf of 19 signatories, urging Trump to keep the Clean Power Plan initiated by President Obama. They stated that it builds on successful state and local efforts to cut emissions, grow economies and local employment.
“States like New York are on the front lines of climate change—and have demonstrated how to cut pollution and emissions while protecting affordable and reliable electricity, creating jobs, and growing our economy,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “The Clean Power Plan builds on that successful work and is a blueprint for the critical action needed to fight climate change’s devastating environmental, economic, and public health impacts. The science is clear and far too much is at stake to turn back the clock on our climate efforts.”
Schneiderman’s office noted that states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) have produced encouraging results by reducing regional carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity sector by 40 percent from 2005 levels. In doing so the states have encouraged shifts to less carbon-intensive fossil fuel generation, increased use of renewable energy, and using proceeds to invest in energy efficiency. That’s resulted in energy bill reductions of $1.3 billion, $1.6 billion more for the local economies and the creation of 16,000 jobs.
“We see firsthand the significant human and economic costs inflicted by unchecked carbon pollution: whether it is harms from severe drought in California, catastrophic storm surge in New York City, a record deluge on the Front Range in Colorado, routine high tide flooding in Hampton Roads, Virginia and in South Florida, or diminished shellfish harvest in Oregon and Washington state,” Schneiderman wrote.
“We urge you to continue the federal government’s defense of the Clean Power Plan, a well-considered and critical rule that reasonably limits emissions from fossil-fueled power plants, our nation’s largest source of carbon pollution,” Schneiderman continued in the letter. He added that the governments participated in court on behalf of EPA’s defense of the Clean Power Plan. He also argued on behalf of the signatories that they have already used the spirit of the plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions while creating jobs and growing economies.
The letter was signed by California, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington as well as the District of Columbia, Boulder, CO, New York City, Broward County, FL and South Miami, FL.