(Washington, D.C. – April 27, 2018) Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) joined almost a million Americans in supporting the Clean Power Plan by sending formal comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) opposing Administrator Scott Pruitt’s “lawless and destructive” effort to repeal the historic climate change protection.
The Clean Power Plan “is the most important step our nation has taken to address the urgent and dire threat of climate change,” EDF said in its comments, which were filed last night. “The [Clean Power Plan] will significantly reduce climate-destabilizing pollution from the power sector, avoid premature deaths and disease caused by power plant pollution, and drive broad-based investment and job creation in the nation’s vibrant clean energy economy … The proposed repeal of the [Clean Power Plan] abdicates EPA’s solemn responsibility to protect the health and well-being of all Americans. Administrator Pruitt must abandon this lawless and destructive course of action.”
EPA was accepting public comments on its proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan through midnight last night. Americans across the country urged EPA to keep the Clean Power Plan in place; EDF’s members alone sent about 250,000 comments to EPA supporting the Clean Power Plan and opposing its repeal. More than four million Americans have spoken out in support of the Clean Power Plan since its development.
The Clean Power Plan sets achievable limits on climate pollution from power plants, based on cost-effective measures used by the power sector for decades. It was developed after years of public outreach and agency deliberation.
EPA’s regulatory impact analysis for the proposal indicates that repealing the Clean Power Plan will lead to as many as 4,500 additional premature deaths and 90,000 additional childhood asthma attacks every year once fully implemented.
In October, 2017, Pruitt announced his decision to cancel the Clean Power Plan. Pruitt initially said the Clean Power Plan would be “repealed and replaced,” but so far he has only announced that EPA will “consider” proposing any other limits on climate pollution.
In addition to submitting its own comments last night, EDF joined a broad coalition of environmental and science advocates to urge EPA to protect the Clean Power Plan.
“To repeal the Clean Power Plan as the Administrator has proposed would represent a stark abdication of EPA’s duty under the Clean Air Act to protect the public health and welfare,” the groups say in their comments. “To throw out the [Clean Power Plan’s] reasonable, carefully-constructed first steps toward addressing the dangers of climate change would be a profound betrayal of EPA’s core duties to the public. EPA should withdraw this hopelessly flawed proposal and get back to its basic duties as the nation’s leading environmental protection agency by implementing and strengthening the [Clean Power Plan].”
The Appalachian Mountain Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Clean Air Council, Clean Air Task Force, Clean Wisconsin, Conservation Law Foundation, Earthjustice, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, National Parks Conservation Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, and the Union of Concerned Scientists joined EDF on those comments.
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