Inslee testifies against plan to roll back the Clean Power Plan

Trump Administration proposal would do nothing to curb carbon pollution and would actually worsen impacts of climate change.

Gov. Jay Inslee testified in Chicago today on the Trump Administration’s plan to roll back the Clean Power Plan.

The hearing was the only public opportunity the Administration has provided for input on the plan that would replace one of the nation’s signature carbon reduction policies that aims to protect Americans from carbon pollution.

Gov. Jay Inslee speaking against the proposal to roll back the Clean Power Plan (Office of the Governor photo)

The Clean Power Plan is a broadly supported, cost-effective and flexible approach to reduce emissions from the nation’s power plants. It would have helped reduce carbon pollution in our nation by more than 350 million metric tons — or around 20 percent — by the year 2030.

This new proposal — the “Affordable Clean Energy” rule — will not curb carbon emissions. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency projects that this rule is 90 to 97 percent weaker than the CPP. The resulting amount of emission reduction across the nation’s entire power sector by 2030 would be less than the closing of a single large coal power plant. EPA’s own analysis even shows the program may lead to more deaths, more asthma attacks, and worse health outcomes.

When the proposal to replace the Clean Power Plan was proposed in August, Inslee and Attorney General Ferguson released a statement, denouncing the plan. Inslee and Ferguson’s office also announced their intent to pursue legal action to block the new proposal which they say is an abdication of the administration’s legal obligation to protect people from harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

Inslee’s prepared remarks for the hearing read, in part:

We are called the Evergreen State for good reason. Our state is home to centuries-old rain forests, lush alpine meadows below snow-topped mountains, millions of acres of wild land forests and hundreds of miles of stunning tree-lined coastline, and the cutest kids in the country. All of them are at risk because of climate change.

“The roll-back is morally reprehensible, legally indefensible, and economically short-sided.”

“The EPA has a legal obligation — as established by the bipartisan Clean Air Act — to keep Americans safe from dirty and polluted air and the impacts of climate change.

“This proposal fundamentally transforms the EPA from a pollution prevention enforcer to a mere information provider, making the agency a bystander in this global crisis of climate change. Under its first leader, Bill Ruckelshaus, the agency did its job. It was the Environmental Protection Agency. Now under this Administration it has become the Environmental Pollution Agency.

“This deadly proposal will effectively leave it to individual states to try to protect themselves from the harm allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“States like Washington have committed to pressing forward because we have no choice, but make no mistake: without a strong partner at the federal level, our children will be left to face a very vulnerable future.”

“I am here today because this is the only opportunity for Americans to speak out against this disastrous plan. Rather than imploring, or respectfully requesting, that you do not move forward with this. I demand it. I demand the federal government do its job to protect Americans against the dangerous effects of climate change.”