A chorus of opposition to Wheeler’s sham Clean Power Plan replacement

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler just released his proposal to severely weaken America’s only nation-wide carbon pollution protections for existing power plants – to a chorus of opposition from the American public, state and local officials, faith organizations, health and environmental organizations, and leaders across the political spectrum.

Wheeler’s proposal would scrap the landmark Clean Power Plan –increasing harmful air pollution and exacerbating climate change. According to EPA’s own numbers, Wheeler’s proposal could lead to more than one thousand extra deaths and tens of thousands of additional asthma attacks each year. It forfeits the lifesaving benefits the Clean Power Plan would provide for the health and well-being of all Americans.

More than 70 percent of Americans – including a majority in every Congressional district in the country – support putting strict limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants, according to a recent poll analysis. A broad and diverse group of them spoke out in opposition to the sham Clean Power Plan replacement proposal.

Here are some notable quotes (and you can see a more complete list here).

From bipartisan state and local leaders across the country:

  • “Wildfires burning all over the world – smoke everywhere – and President Trump wants to burn more coal with fewer clean air protections by dropping the Clean Power Plan.” – Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Democrat
  • “As communities across the country deal with the impacts of climate change and air pollution, this is simply the wrong approach.” – Vermont Governor Phil Scott, Republican
  • “With intense droughts, wildfires, rainstorms, and flooding plaguing our nation, we need to move swiftly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the very real impact climate change is having on the health and economic vitality of our communities.” – Columbia, South Carolina Mayor Steve Benjamin, President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors
  • “As Seattleites’ health is threatened by smoke from wildfires – which climate change is making more and more of a threat – our national leaders in the other Washington are taking us backwards.” – Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan

From state Attorneys General, who are pledging to sue:

  • “If the Trump administration’s proposal to dismantle the Clean Power Plan is adopted, we will work with our state and local partners to file suit to block it – in order to protect New Yorkers, and all Americans, from the increasingly devastating impacts of climate change.” – New York State Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood
  • “The U.S. EPA’s complete rejection of the Clean Power Plan and our country’s path to a cleaner and safer environment will have disastrous consequences. I will take legal action to ensure the federal government does its job to protect our environment and our health.” – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan

From health experts, faith leaders and community advocates:

  • “With today’s proposal, President Trump and Acting EPA Administrator Wheeler abandon much-needed public health safeguards against power plant pollution, placing the health of all Americans at risk, and especially those who are most vulnerable, including children, older adults, and people with asthma and heart disease.” – Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association
  • “As people of faith, we have a moral calling to be faithful stewards of God’s creation and care for vulnerable peoples, but this new plan will do the exact opposite. The recent wildfires, hurricanes, and floods that are devastating communities around the country paint a clear picture: the impacts of climate change are already happening and causing irreparable harm.” – Emily Wirzba, Legislative Representative for Friends Committee on National Legislation
  • “This latest scam aims to transfer billions from the poor and middle class to a few Trump cronies and invite unspeakable harm to the U.S. by accelerating, rather than mitigating, climate change.” – David Arkush, Climate Program Managing Director of Public Citizen
  • “The Trump Administration continues to put the health of the Latino community and all Americans at risk by gutting the Clean Power Plan… The Latino community is hit first and worst by climate change, and we suffer disproportionate public health effects.” – Mark Magaña, President & CEO of GreenLatinos
  • “Today’s proposal ignores the strong public support for reducing climate pollution and instead prioritizes the profits of coal barons over our chil­dren’s health. Moms are watching. We are appalled by this scam to disregard our children’s health and future.” – Dominique Browning, Senior Director of Moms Clean Air Force

From Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle:

  • “I oppose the Trump Administration’s regulatory roll back of the Clean Power Plan that was announced today. As the proud home of the Adirondacks, the North Country knows the importance of protecting our environment for future generations.” – Elise Stefanik (R-New York)
  • “The Clean Power Plan was an important step for our nation to combat climate change. Today’s decision continues a long line of misguided actions by this President that are toxic to our planet and to the American people.” – Tim Ryan (D-Ohio)
  • “The Administration’s proposal to rewrite the national standards established by the Clean Power Plan is a step in the wrong direction.” – Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine)
  • “If I were grading the Trump Administration’s proposal to replace the Clean Power Plan, I would give it an ‘F.’ This egregious climate denial plan fails to protect the American people from the serious risks of climate change [and] fails to produce the same health and energy saving benefits that were achieved under the Clean Power Plan.” – Senator Tom Carper (D-Delaware)
  • “President Trump’s proposal is full-fledged climate denial. It gives coal companies the green light to pollute the air we breathe and the water we drink. This proposal flies in the face of scientific fact, morality, and America’s leadership.” – Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)

From experts in energy, environment and law:

  • “This is about coal at all costs. There is no other country in the world that is looking at coal as its future — they are all running to clean energy to save money, create jobs and save lives today and protect our children’s future.” – Gina McCarthy, former EPA Administrator
  • “By only requiring marginal efficiency improvements at individual coal plants, the proposed replacement plan is a regulatory fig leaf. Instead of reducing carbon pollution from coal plants as required by the Clean Air Act, the proposal provides coal plants with a virtually free pass to continue polluting with impunity.” – David Hayes, former Deputy Secretary of the Interior
  • “To no surprise, Trump and his corporate puppets running our government are again putting profits over people. Their new ‘Affordable Clean Energy Plan’ is neither affordable nor clean, and nothing more than a dirty and dangerous scam.” – Mustafa Ali, former EPA Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice
  • “Killing the Clean Power Plan will not bring coal back, because the Clean Power Plan did not kill coal. It’s still economics.” – Professor James Van Nostrand, West Virginia University College of Law
  • “In regulating greenhouse gas pollution, the EPA is legally required to use the ‘best system of emission reduction,’ not a mediocre or downright counterproductive system of emission reduction. This proposal is an enormous step backwards, and it will have severe repercussions for public health and the climate.” – Professor Richard Revesz, New York University School of Law

You can read more reactions here.

The immediate opposition to Wheeler’s proposal is a sharp contrast to reactions to previous efforts to address climate pollution from power plants. For instance, power companies representing more than 10 percent of U.S. generating capacity supported the Clean Power Plan in court – as did a wide array of states, municipalities, leading businesses and business associations, faith organizations, health and medical associations, consumer advocates, and elected officials.

More recently, elected officials, energy experts, public health advocates, and many others have affirmed the importance of ambitious measures to address climate change and secure cleaner air in the face of the Trump administration’s misguided rollbacks, including:

The message is clear – Americans across the country, and across the political spectrum, want a safer climate and healthier air, not a rollback of the Clean Power Plan.

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