(January 11, 2018) The state of Maryland and the city of Philadelphia held public meetings today about Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt’s proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan – the latest in a week of independent listening sessions about that proposal to roll back the country’s only nationwide limit on carbon pollution from existing power plants.
The Clean Air Act mandates that EPA give concerned Americans an opportunity to verbally present their views to EPA officials before deciding about a repeal. Multiple cities and states around the country offered to host public hearings on the issue so their citizens could weigh in – but the agency originally planned only one public hearing, so states and cities began holding their own meetings. (EPA just announced three listening sessions for San Francisco, Kansas City, and Gillette, Wyoming. The agency is also extending the public comment period for the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan, to April 26.)
EDF was represented at both hearings today.
In Annapolis, EDF’s Emma Averill testified about how the Clean Power Plan will protect the Chesapeake Bay from pollution and protect Maryland families from climate change.
“I am a lifelong Maryland resident … coastal areas like Maryland are especially vulnerable to stronger storms and rising sea levels. The Clean Power Plan is essential to achieving major, long-term reductions in the pollution that is driving these impacts,” Averill said in her testimony. “The Clean Power Plan would ultimately not only reduce carbon emissions but would also result in less nitrogen oxide pollution … Nitrogen pollution creates dead zones in the bay, seriously harming crabs, fish, and other marine life. Unhealthy levels of pollution negatively affect the livelihoods of all Marylanders who count on a healthy bay to improve the local economy.”
In Philadelphia, EDF’s Ben Schneider testified about the impact the Clean Power Plan could have on his family.
“I’m an environmentalist by trade, but I’m also about to be a father for the first time in a few months,” Schneider testified. “I worry about asthma attacks here in Philly, and I worry about them getting worse. I worry about climate change. I know that we need our leaders – in Washington, in Harrisburg, here in Philly, everywhere – to act now if we’re going to protect the world we leave our children.”
The Clean Power Plan is the single biggest step America has ever taken to address the growing threat of climate change. EPA’s own analysis shows the Clean Power Plan would prevent as many as 4,500 deaths from air pollution and 90,000 childhood asthma attacks each year. It would also support America’s booming clean energy sector – a rapidly growing, $200 billion sector employing more than three million people.
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