Repeal and Replace of Clean Power Plan is a “ Step Backwards” for the U.S.
June 19, 2019 /3BL Media/ — The Environmental Protection Agency repeal and replacement of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) is a “step backwards for U.S. climate action and global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Anne Kelly, vice president of government relations at the sustainability nonprofit organization Ceres.
Today, the EPA issued its replacement rule for the Clean Power Plan, the nation’s first comprehensive plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants. Rather than letting states choose the most efficient method of emissions reductions, the EPA’s new rule, called the Affordable Clean Energy act, would require only small efficiency upgrades to existing coal plants.
“Now is not the time to be scaling back efforts to curb carbon emissions,” Kelly said. “Policy and regulation—including an ambitious nationwide plan to slash emissions from the power sector—are crucial to achieve a net-zero carbon economy and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”
“Regulatory rollbacks to the Clean Power Plan and other key climate rules will harm the economy, the environment and public health, and will make it even more difficult and expensive to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and keep average global temperature rise to no more than 1.5-degrees Celsius,” Kelly added.
According to the EPA, the rollback of the Clean Power Plan and the replacement with the Affordable Clean Energy plan is expected to increase emissions between 20 and 37 million tons of carbon per year by 2025, and could result in more than 1,400 premature deaths a year as a result of air pollution by 2030.
When the EPA finalized the Clean Power Plan in 2015, 365 investors and companies sent a letter to more than two-dozen U.S. governors voicing their support and urging timely implementation of state plans to meet the Clean Power Plan standards.
“Our support is firmly grounded in economic reality,” wrote the companies, including General Mills, Mars Inc., Nestle, Staples, Unilever and VF Corporation. “Clean energy solutions are cost effective and innovative ways to drive investment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Increasingly, businesses rely on renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions to cut costs and improve corporation performance.”
“The private sector continues to step up in support of climate action because it is the right thing to do and because it makes business sense,” Kelly said. “Investors and companies understand the economic risk of climate change and the urgency to accelerate zero-carbon solutions. That’s why thousands continue to declare they are ‘still in’ the Paris Agreement and are taking steps to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions.”
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. For more information, visit www.ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.