Statement by NRCM Executive Director Lisa Pohlmann
“President Trump’s Executive Order today rolls back years of climate progress and takes us completely in the wrong direction. His denial of climate science is unconscionable. Today he has put his climate denial into action by attacking the safeguards that protect the health of America’s families.
“In the Trump Administration’s ideal world, polluters have total control of America’s energy and environmental policy. This 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. To deny climate change and refuse to take action is a direct threat to our children, especially here in Maine.
“Today, President Trump has delivered on one of his campaign promises that benefits corporate polluters and sticks it to the American people. He has announced his intention to let polluters off the hook and to gut the Clean Air Act. He instructed federal officials to ignore the cost of climate change as they make decisions that affect the Earth and its people and to roll back the Clean Power Plan that set the nation’s first limits on climate-changing carbon pollution. Recently, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt made news by ignoring and denying the widespread scientific consensus that climate change is caused by carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels. Trump’s action today takes us another step backward.
“Rolling back the Clean Power Plan would 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 breathe pollution from power plants here, at the end of the prevailing winds. Letting these polluters off the hook puts Maine on the hook for more bad air days, asthma attacks, and damage to our economy from a warming climate.
“Taking a head-in-the-sand approach to climate change is both harmful and ignorant.
“In Maine, we do our part to curb carbon emissions from power plants as a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI is a cooperative effort among nine northeastern states to reduce climate-changing pollution from power plants and spur investments in energy efficiency and clean energy. RGGI is lowering pollution while reducing energy costs, creating jobs, and strengthening our economy.
“Air pollution knows no borders. Because upwind emissions pollute Maine’s air and harm our health and climate, we need upwind polluting states to do their part and clean up, too. That’s why we need the federal air protections that President Trump wants to roll back. Today’s order by the President continues the attack on a clean environment reflected in his budget, which would slash funding for the EPA, NOAA, and other agencies engaged in critical work to protect all Americans.
“Even more insidious than the attack on the Clean Power Plan, the President’s attack on science and science-based decisions ignores the disastrous effects of climate change on our health, and the effects of extreme weather on our cities and towns, our roads and bridges, and our electric grid.
“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. 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.”