“Today I was honored to be at the White House to watch history in the making. President Obama formally unveiled the final Clean Power Plan—the first-ever limits on carbon pollution from U.S. power plants. It was a thrilling moment. The United States made it clear that it is no longer acceptable to put unlimited amounts of climate pollution into our air. The move toward a world safe from climate change has now begun in earnest.
“This is the race of our lives. Climate change is the biggest threat facing us right now. It’s a clear and present danger to every human being on the planet. It threatens to undermine every aspect of American society if we don’t address it.
“The Clean Power Plan will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, and it will do so while creating tens of thousands of jobs, driving investment in clean energy technologies, and saving the average American family almost $85 per year in energy costs in 2030. Most important, it will prevent asthma attacks, other health problems, and even premature deaths by slashing the power plant pollutants that cause them.
“The Clean Power Plan offers an enormous amount of flexibility to states to develop the plans that best harness their energy strengths. The states that join this race first, and run it the fastest, will win both more investment in clean technologies and less air pollution for their communities. And all Americans will benefit from less severe temperature increases, less dangerous sea level rise, and fewer ferocious storms as we address the threat of climate change.
“No single step will fix climate change, but the Clean Power Plan is also a catalyst for more and quicker pollution reductions in the future, as we continue to innovate and grow the economy.
“The President is using his authority under the Clean Air Act because it is his responsibility to carry out the law and protect our nation’s climate security, and because Congress has failed to adopt comprehensive climate solutions. Eventually Congress must pass a comprehensive, market-based system that puts a price on climate pollution from major emitters and gives business an incentive to develop new clean energy solutions.
“But for today, it was an honor and a pure joy to stand near the President and watch history unfold. We are prepared to work with the President, and with Congress, to ensure the promise of the Clean Power Plan becomes a reality.”
- Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund
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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.