EPA chief Scott Pruitt is signing a proposal this week to rescind the Clean Power Plan – a centerpiece of President Obama’s effort to combat climate change. The plan would have forced coal-fired power plants to cut carbon emissions significantly and was a big part of the United States’ commitments to the Paris Accord on Climate Change – something Trump has criticized as a job killer.
The plants are responsible for about a third of all greenhouse-gas emissions in the U.S.
Lisa Hoyos is director of Climate Parents, a program of the Sierra Club. She says the decision is a disaster for our children’s health.
“Anyone who cares about the well-being of our children would be running quickly in the direction of cutting fossil-fuel pollution,” she says. “Trump runs quickly in the direction of lining the pockets of fossil-fuel industry tycoons, and it’s reckless.”
The proposal will be published in the federal register this week, which then kicks off a public comment period and is sure to generate legal challenges. The Supreme Court put the Clean Power Plan on hold in 2016, so it never went into effect. Nonetheless, the abundance and low cost of natural gas and wind power have led many utilities to shutter coal-fired power plants over the past few years.
Hoyos encourages state and local leaders to prioritize the transition to 100 percent clean energy.
“Every local and state official, every member of a public utilities commission needs to step up, and that means making local decisions to scale clean energy and to close off any further development of dirty energy,” she adds.
The EPA is legally required to take steps to reduce carbon pollution. The Obama EPA estimated that the Clean Power Plan would prevent thousands of premature deaths and tens of thousands of asthma attacks in children each year.
By Suzanne Potter
Public News Service – NV