With the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan now final, the era of unlimited carbon pollution from America’s power plants is finally coming to an end.
That’s excellent news, because climate change has put us in the race of our lives – and the countries that move the fastest toward clean energy will be the most competitive, create the most jobs and have the healthiest air. It’s a race to the top, and the Clean Power Plan gives the United States a better chance of winning.
Below are excerpts from an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal where I lay out the opportunities this groundbreaking initiative will bring to our nation.
It will put power in consumers’ hands
“States should use this watershed moment to remove existing barriers to energy freedom and consumer choice. Outmoded rules in many states make it harder for homeowners to install solar panels – and Americans across the political spectrum have made it clear that they want more control over the electricity they use.
It ramps up the clean energy market
“Driving down carbon emissions will ramp up the energy transformation that is already happening across America. What once seemed exotic electric cars, highly efficient appliances, competitively priced clean energy is becoming commonplace.
“In 2014, the clean-energy market in the U.S. expanded by 14 percent, to almost $200 billion. That is bigger than the domestic airline industry.
“Clean energy now delivers three times as many jobs per dollar invested as fossil-fuel investments.
It builds a more prosperous future
“The EPA’s plan gives companies the incentive to make investment decisions that focus on cleaner energy. For the customer in states that lower emissions by creating opportunities for more efficient use of energy, the plan will mean that home electric bills will be lower and individual control of electricity use will be higher.
“Bill Gates recently said, ‘If we create the right environment for innovation, we can accelerate the pace of progress, develop and deploy new solutions, and eventually provide everyone with reliable, affordable energy that is carbon free.’
I believe that the Clean Power Plan will help establish that environment for innovation and lead us to a cleaner, healthier and more prosperous future.”