A Chorus of Opposition to the Final ACE Rule

(This post was co-written by EDF intern Laura Supple)

The Trump administration has finalized a rule that throws out the Clean Power Plan – America’s first and only nationwide limit on carbon pollution from existing power plants – and replaces it with a “do nothing” rule that, by EPA’s own numbers, would actually increase dangerous climate and smog-forming pollution in many states compared to no policy.

A broad and diverse group including political leaders, business representatives, and public health advocates have come out in strong opposition to the rollback. You can find all their responses here.

Here are some of the most notable comments.

State Attorneys Generals:

  • “As a country, we need to take meaningful action to address the devastating effects of climate change. The EPA’s Affordable Clean Energy rule … is a giant step backward in that effort. The ACE rule is misguided policy that is neither safe, nor clean, nor affordable because it does nothing to combat climate change. I am committed to ensuring that this illegal and ineffective rule does not stand.” – Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul
  • “A combination of smart federal and state policies have contributed to the rapid growth of renewable energy in Iowa. The Trump administration will endanger this progress by replacing the Clean Power Plan. Iowa is affected by climate change, particularly by flooding and droughts. We’re paying a cost.” – Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller
  • “I will oppose the Trump Administration’s attempt to keep America dependent on 19th century technology and ignore the impacts of greenhouse gases on our climate … While the rest of the world is working to try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Trump Administration continues to pander to its fossil fuel supporters.” – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel
  • “The Clean Power Plan was a much needed plan to address the climate change crisis. The EPA’s fig leaf replacement neither promotes clean energy nor meaningfully reduces greenhouse gas emissions … The Trump Administration isn’t just sitting idly by as this crisis grows – it is actively making it worse. We need real action to address climate change and the tragic consequences it will bring to our economy and health.” – North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein

Members of Congress:

  • “Just when you think the Trump Administration’s attacks on the environment can’t get any worse, today the EPA announced it’s gutting the Clean Power Plan – essentially giving a huge handout to big polluters at the expense of public health and our planet … How is Trump justifying this decision? By ignoring science and using shady math.” – Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colorado)
  • “The Trump administration’s Dirty Power Plan props up the expensive and dirty coal industry. If we fail to reduce carbon pollution, the consequences of inaction will only become greater, and our solutions to the climate crisis will only become more expensive.” – Senator Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico)
  • “Rolling back the Clean Power Plan means ending a critical plan to reduce emissions and combat Climate Change. We can’t afford Trump’s Dirty Power Scam, and the public health of our communities will pay the price.” – Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona)
  • “The Trump Administration has chosen yet again not to act on climate — inaction that comes at the expense of protecting the health and safety of the American people. Reducing carbon emissions is the most effective way to deal with the increasing impacts of climate change, including rising sea levels, more frequent and intense extreme weather events, and loss of sea ice …The federal government should be increasing its support for the development and use of technologies that will substantially reduce these emissions, not loosening pollution standards and jeopardizing the health of Americans across the country.” – Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas)

Public Health Experts and Community Advocates:

  • “The ACE rule is wholly inadequate for reducing carbon pollution to address the urgent health crisis of climate change … Americans across the country are feeling the impacts of climate change every day from floods, wildfires and hurricanes. Each day that passes without action on climate means that we are one step closer to a grim scenario with devastating consequences for human health.” – American Lung Association with Allergy & Asthma Network, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, American Heart Association, American Public Health Association, American Thoracic Society, Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Center for Climate Change and Health, Children’s Environmental Health Network, Climate for Health, Health Care Without Harm, Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, National Medical Association, and Physicians for Social Responsibility
  • “This administration’s do-nothing approach is a stunning abdication of every parental instinct to prevent harm and protect children …. The Trump administration’s own analysis found that the Clean Power Plan could prevent an estimated 90,000 childhood asthma attacks and as many as 4,500 early deaths each year.” – Mom’s Clean Air Force
  • “The Trump Administration continues to put the health of the Latino community and all Americans at risk by gutting the Clean Power Plan, the first and only federal limit on carbon pollution from power plants. This reckless weakening of carbon emission levels will directly impact Latinos of whom about 40% of live within 30 miles of a power plant.” – Mark Magaña, President and CEO of GreenLatinos

Business and Industry:

  • “Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is critical and clean energy technologies have proven they can do so effectively and cost-efficiently. The Council is disappointed that the EPA’s Affordable Clean Energy rule does not fully incorporate the emission reductions achievable from deploying the broad range of clean energy technologies that are already decarbonizing the electricity sector.” – Business Council for Sustainable Energy
  • “In the Carolinas, we have and are continuing to retire coal units … I don’t think [the ACE rule is] going to make any difference. When I look at the rule, if the heat rate improvements at a plant were economic, they would have already been done … Without exception, every one of [the communities ElectriCities serves] have individuals in their communities who want to do more with renewables.” – Roy Jones, CEO of ElectriCities
  • “The economic case is clear, and the market shift is under way. With the rollback of the Clean Power Plan, we will only add more pollution to the air without changing the coal industry’s trajectory …The Trump administration ought to support new clean energy solutions, not prop up a declining industry that continues to threaten our planet’s existence.” – Dan Shugar, CEO of NexTracker

Economics, Environment, and Legal Experts:

The message is clear – Americans across the country are demanding cleaner air and a healthier climate, and the Trump administration’s rollback of the Clean Power Plan is an unacceptable abdication of EPA’s legal responsibility to protect human health and the environment.

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