Safe Climate Caucus Urges EPA To Rescind Clean Power Plan Replacement Proposal

Oct 4, 2018
Press Release

Today, the Congressional Safe Climate Caucus sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler urging him to rescind the Agency’s proposed so-called Affordable Clean Energy Rule, or at least allow for additional public hearings and time to comment. The Members cited the abundance of scientific evidence, including EPA’s own analysis, which indicated the rule would be detrimental to public health and climate change. According to the EPA, the proposed rule would also result in more than 1,600 deaths by 2030. The letter was signed by 50 members of the Safe Climate Caucus. 

The lawmakers wrote:

“As members of the Safe Climate Caucus, we write to you with serious concerns regarding the EPA’s proposed rule to replace the Clean Power Plan, the so-called Affordable Clean Energy rule. An abundance of scientific evidence, including your agency’s own analysis, indicates that the proposed rule will increase emissions of dangerous pollutants, including those that contribute to global climate change, and have negative effects on public health, causing up to 1,630 more deaths per year. With the dangers it presents to the environment and public health, we urge you to pull the rulemaking.

“As directed by the Supreme Court in Massachusetts v. EPA, EPA analyzed and found that greenhouse gas emissions endangered the public health and welfare of current and future generations. Required to mitigate that finding, EPA consequently finalized the Clean Power Plan in 2015 to set the first ever national limits on carbon pollution from power plants, which, at the time, were the nation’s largest source of emissions. That plan would have resulted in a 32 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.  It was designed to regulate power plant emissions on a sector-wide and state-wide basis, which would help incentivize a shift away from dirty energy sources and toward lower-emitting sources while maintaining flexibility for states to choose the most cost-effective methods for power generation.

“At a time when the world is facing record heat waves and droughts, wildfires and hurricanes of unprecedented size and frequency, rising sea levels, and a surge in other extreme weather patterns, it is unthinkable that the Administration would propose regulations which will exacerbate the impacts of climate change and risk the welfare of the American people. The Clean Power Plan was a crucial step toward reducing the deadly climate-changing pollution produced by power plants. We urge you to side with the 70 percent of Americans who support strict limits on carbon pollution of existing power plants, and abandon plans to replace the Clean Power Plan with a plan that worsens the American public’s health and welfare.  If you will not rescind the Affordable Clean Energy Rule, we request that at the very minimum you allow for additional public hearings and time for the public to comment.”

The full text of and a signed copy of the letter is available here.