Statement of Lisa Pohlmann, Executive Director, Natural Resources Council of Maine
“In Scott Pruitt’s ideal world, polluters have total control of America’s energy and environmental policy. That is a disaster for Maine, which is not only downwind from many of those polluters, but is also blessed with abundant clean, local, renewable energy supplies, rather than dirty coal and oil.
“Today the EPA Administrator is doing exactly what his boss, President Trump, told him to do back in March: rollback protections under the Clean Air Act and do whatever you can to make it easier for coal, oil and gas industries to pollute. Today Pruitt is also pursuing the same agenda he pursued as Oklahoma’s Attorney General, ferociously attacking EPA protections in alliance with his fossil fuel allies with whom he retains the closest ties. President continues to nominate climate-denying lobbyists for coal and chemicals to hold the highest offices at the EPA, making a mockery of the agency’s core mission to protect.
“Rolling back the Clean Power Plan will allow unlimited levels of carbon pollution — the major contributor to climate change — to be dumped into our air from power plants across the country. This is particularly bad for Maine, since we at the end of the prevailing winds breathe their pollution here. Letting these polluters off the hook exposes Mainers to more “bad air” days, asthma attacks, and damage to our economy from a warming climate.
“Reducing dangerous carbon pollution from power plants is not only essential for our climate and clean air; it is good news for our economy. We know because we’re already doing it. Maine and eight other northeastern states are already part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which limits power plant carbon pollution well ahead of the schedule in the Clean Power Plan. Recently the nine RGGI Governors—five of whom are Republicans, with four Democrats—decided to extend the program for another 10 years because it is benefiting our economy and energy consumers while cutting pollution.
“That is the reality that Pruitt and his fossil fuel industry allies don’t want you to see: we can have a cleaner energy future and a stronger economy. But it is one based on renewable power and energy efficiency technology, not their dirty fuels from the last century.
“Pruitt is a climate denier whose term in office has been an offense to science, and now he is trying to deny the basic math behind the Clean Power Plan, too. They are cooking the books to hide the public health benefits of reducing dangerous power plant pollution.
“All of this stands in stark contrast to the leadership on climate change and clean energy shown by Maine’s U.S. Senators. We applaud Maine’s Senators Susan Collins and Angus King for their repeated acknowledgement of climate change science, and their statements in support of the EPA’s power to limit climate-changing pollution. They understand that an attack on the Clean Power Plan is an attack on the Clean Air Act.
“Moving forward with common-sense climate protection is essential for Maine’s health and prosperity—to say nothing of the need to address the devastating, global warming-fueled hurricanes and forest fires affecting other states this fall.
“We will support any effort to stop today’s unlawful rollback of the Clean Air Act and we are counting on Maine’s senators to continue defending the health of Maine people, our economy, and safeguards for the clean air and clean water that define our state.”