Statement of Dylan Voorhees, Clean Energy Director, Natural Resources Council of Maine
“The Trump Administration’s proposal to roll back air pollution limits is bad news for everyone who breathes. The proposal is particularly bad news for Mainers, since so much of the air pollution that affects Maine people comes from upwind power plants that would be let off the hook by this scheme.
“This ill-conceived proposal to let states decide how much or how little to regulate power plant pollution would be a wrecking ball to America’s efforts to cut climate-changing pollution, and it comes at a time of unprecedented and deadly heat waves, wildfires, and flooding around the world that have been linked to climate change.
“This plan needs to be stopped in its tracks, through the public comment process or the courts. It is an irresponsible and shameless gift to the corporations that operate some of the oldest, dirtiest, and most obsolete coal-fired power plants in the nation. There is no question that the plan announced today would put Maine’s climate, people, environment, and economy at increased risk. We call on our Congressional delegation to speak up loudly against this proposal.
“Mainers see that climate change is already harming our state and they strongly support taking scientifically grounded action to reduce carbon pollution. Maine and other northeastern states have already adopted limits on carbon pollution from power plants that are tougher than the Clean Power Plan. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is also a documented boost to our economy and is lowering energy costs. The Trump Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on the other hand, is so thoroughly captive to the coal industry that it is blind to science and the economic reality of clean energy.
“The most important things the United States has done to address climate change in the last decade are: adopting the Clean Power Plan, establishing strong fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks, and leading the world to adopt the Paris Climate Accord. With today’s proposed rollback of the Clean Power Plan, President Trump has shown he will not stop until all three are upended. We will not stop defending against these attacks.
“Maine’s air quality and our climate depend in large part on effective national pollution standards to clean up pollution from states upwind of us, such as Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. The health of Maine people and our environment hang in the balance.
“Maine Senators Susan Collins and Angus King have been vocal supporters of the Clean Power Plan, because they recognize the threat of climate change and the need for action beyond the state level. They also understand, from RGGI, that protecting our climate can go hand-in-hand with economic prosperity. We urge them to actively oppose the coal industry give away this rollback represents.
“One of the most noteworthy things about the Clean Power Plan is that it gives states flexibility to figure out the best ways to achieve reductions in power plant pollution, whether that is through increasing renewable energy and energy efficiency, joining market-based initiatives like RGGI, or installing traditional pollution controls. The Trump EPA wants to throw out that flexibility and innovation and replace it with some of the weakest and least effective air pollution rules ever.”