600 state, local officials praise Obama’s action plan, regulatory push

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, May 23, 2014

Six hundred state and local officials wrote to President Obama today to voice support for his Climate Action Plan and forthcoming power plant standards in particular.

TheĀ letter, coordinated by Environment America, was a pre-emptive strike in defense of Clean Air Act rules that U.S. EPA is scheduled to release on June 2.The coal industry targeted the rules earlier this week with a television campaign charging that they will lead to an 80 percent increase in power costs, and they are expected to be met with push-back from Capitol Hill when they are released (Greenwire, May 20).

“By committing to clean up power plants with a stakeholder process similar to that which was used for other Clean Air Act standards, you are once again demonstrating your commitment to commonsense solutions that takes the challenge of climate change seriously,” the officials wrote. “This move, combined with the strong efficiency and clean energy goals also outlined in your Climate Action Plan, is key to putting America on a path to a future powered by homegrown clean energy.”

The letter, signed by mayors, city council members and state representatives from 21 states, pointed to climate-driven effects that communities across the country are already experiencing. These effects make it imperative for the administration to act to reduce emissions and to help communities adapt, they said.

Julian Boggs of Environment America said the letter is intended to show local support for the administration’s work.

“There are a lot of people out there who support limits on carbon emissions, and we want to make sure those voices are heard,” Boggs said. The coming weeks will see a concerted push in support for the proposal, he said, which is the centerpiece of the administration’s second-term climate change agenda.