(Chicago – October 1, 2018) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held its one and only planned public hearing today on a highly controversial proposal to scrap the Clean Power Plan – America’s historic effort to reduce dangerous pollution from power plants.
Experts from EDF joined other worried Americans in Chicago to testify against the administration’s weak proposal for a Clean Power Plan replacement – a proposal that in some cases would be worse than doing nothing.
“EDF urges EPA to withdraw its unlawful and destructive proposal to roll back the Clean Power Plan,” said EDF legal fellow Lance Bowman in his testimony. “The proposed rule fails to place any meaningful limits on climate pollution from existing power plants — abandoning EPA’s fundamental legal obligation to protect the public from climate pollution. The results for our climate and our health would be disastrous.”
The Clean Power Plan established America’s only nationwide limit on carbon pollution from existing power plants. The common-sense plan would result in a 36 percent reduction in climate pollution, below 2005 levels, by 2030, and would also reduce deadly soot and smog.
By contrast, the Trump administration’s proposal contains no quantitative limits or compliance deadlines at all – and the proposal would actually weaken long-standing Clean Air Act protections that ensure power plants install modern pollution controls when undertaking expansions or upgrades.
According to EPA’s own analysis, the Trump administration’s proposal would cause up to 1,630 additional premature deaths from air pollution by 2030, relative to the Clean Power Plan.
The analysis also indicates that, through 2030, the proposal would result in a total increase in carbon pollution equivalent to the annual pollution from almost 168 million cars.
“The Clean Power Plan set cost-effective and achievable limits on climate pollution from power plants — helping protect our communities against the threat of climate change by employing proven measures that states and power companies have long used to reduce climate pollution,” said Bowman in his testimony.
Today’s hearing comes just a day after news reports that EPA is putting the finishing touches on a proposal to roll back America’s protections against mercury, arsenic, acid gases and other harmful pollution from coal-fired power plants. It comes just weeks after EPA proposed rolling back our country’s successful and money-saving Clean Car Standards, and weeks after the agency proposed weakening protections against harmful leaks at new oil and gas wells.
At today’s hearing, EDF urged EPA to hold more public hearings on its proposed rollback of the Clean power Plan and extend its inadequate public comment period so more Americans can weigh in on this critical issue.
You can learn more about the Clean Power Plan on EDF’s website.
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Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.