Protect the Clean Power Plan
On October 9th, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the agency will take steps to repeal the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era policy aimed at reducing carbon emissions from power plants and combatting climate change. The Clean Power Plan is a set of policies and guidelines issued in 2015 under the Clean Air Act, the nation's longstanding air pollution law. The plan sets carbon emission targets for coal, gas and other power plants, and gives each state the ability to design their own methods to achieve them. If fully implemented, the Clean Power Plan is projected to cut carbon emissions by 32% nationally (relative to 2005 levels), save the US $20 billion in climate-related costs, and add $14-$34 billion in added health benefits. The shift toward clean renewable energy sources will also save the average American family money due to their overall lower cost. There is no question that increased carbon emissions have led to climate change and the rise of more and more floods, droughts, wildfires, and hurricanes that have put populations in the US and around the world in danger. It is irresponsible for the EPA to roll back policies that curb carbon emissions under false promises of reduced costs or a coal industry comeback. While a repeal of the Clean Power Plan is not expected to be immediately implemented (it will go through a formal rule-making process and will also face lawsuits), Congress can take action now by supporting measures that uphold the strategies of the Clean Power Plan and voting down those that undermine it."