(Charleston, WV – November 28, 2017) EDF joined hundreds of Americans at a public hearing in Charleston, West Virginia today for the Clean Power Plan – America’s only nationwide limit on carbon pollution from existing power plants. EDF testified in support of the historic climate protection, and called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to hold more public hearings so more Americans can make their views known.
EPA has planned only one hearing, which began today. Almost 300 people have signed up to testify, including Ben Levitan, a fourth-generation Kentuckian and EDF attorney.
“Repealing the Clean Power Plan would be deeply harmful to the health and well-being of communities nationwide,” said Levitan in his testimony. “EPA has a legal and moral responsibility to protect Americans from air pollution that destabilizes our climate and damages our health. EPA’s proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan — especially without committing to any meaningful replacement — would put more Americans in danger.”
Levitan testified about the enormous health and economic benefits of the Clean Power Plan, which could prevent as many as 4,500 deaths from air pollution each year and support America’s booming clean energy sector – a rapidly growing, $200 billion sector employing more than three million people. He also testified about the need to support coal communities that have been losing jobs because of market forces, including competition from low-cost natural gas and increased automation.
“These trends have taken a significant and personal toll on communities throughout West Virginia, my home state of Kentucky, and other coal-intensive states. But the Clean Power Plan didn’t cause these problems, and repealing the Clean Power Plan won’t solve them,” said Levitan. “Rather than tear down climate and clean air protections that benefit all Americans, we need to find real solutions that ensure the clean energy economy brings jobs and economic prosperity to coal communities. All Americans – including Americans living in coal-producing regions – deserve to enjoy healthier air and a safer climate, and to share in the benefits of the clean energy economy.”
Levitan also called on EPA to hold more hearings across the country. More than eight states and five cities that have requested them.
“When EPA proposed the Clean Power Plan, it held four public hearings in different regions of the country, in addition to eleven public listening sessions that preceded the proposal. Before repealing the Clean Power Plan — and depriving Americans of its health and climate benefits —EPA owes the American people at least that level of outreach,” said Levitan.
You can read Levitan’s full testimony here.
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