Sham Clean Power Plan “Replacement” Would Increase Pollution and Cost American Lives

August 21, 2018
Sharyn Stein,, 202-572-3396

(Washington, D.C. – August 21, 2018) Acting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler today unveiled a proposal to scrap the Clean Power Plan in favor of a weak new rule that will increase health-harming pollution from coal power plants and, by EPA’s own estimates, could result in more than one thousand extra deaths per year by 2030.

“As America suffers through a summer of record-breaking wildfires and heat waves, Acting Administrator Wheeler responds with this do-nothing plan leaving American families unprotected from dangerous climate pollution,” said Environmental Defense Fund president Fred Krupp. “This proposal would eliminate almost all the life-saving climate and health benefits that the Clean Power Plan provides. The Trump-Wheeler plan will mean millions of tons more air pollution endangering our kids’ health, lives and future.”

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 32 percent reduction in climate pollution, below 2005 levels, by 2030 – an important part of fulfilling EPA’s legal obligation, repeatedly upheld in court, to protect Americans from the dangers of climate pollution. It would also reduce deadly soot and smog.

By contrast, the proposal released today contains no quantitative limits or compliance deadlines at all. It requires only that states consider establishing standards based on a narrow and ineffective set of operational efficiency tweaks at power plants. EPA’s own analysis shows that more than one thousand American lives could be lost in 2030 alone under today’s proposal, compared to the Clean Power Plan.

Today’s proposal disregards industry momentum toward cleaner energy and ignores the well-documented potential to achieve significant, cost-effective pollution reduction from power plants. The Trump Administration’s own Energy Information Administration recently concluded that, with the right incentives in place, power plants could reduce carbon pollution by as much as 68 percent by 2030 at very low cost – more than twice the level of pollution reduction anticipated under the Clean Power Plan.

Today’s proposal also runs counter to the wide support for the Clean Power Plan from across the country, including from Attorneys General of nineteen states and the District of Columbia, 244 mayors representing 51 million Americans, public health professionals, business organizations, consumer advocates, clean energy associations, electric grid experts, and many others. A recent poll analysis found that 70 percent of Americans — and a majority in every Congressional district in the country — expressed support for “strict” limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants.

You can learn more about the Clean Power Plan on our website.

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