Bipartisan state leaders want CPP to remain

Source: Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A bipartisan group of agency officials from 13 states today urged EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to leave the Clean Power Plan intact.

In joint comments submitted to EPA, state officials from various energy and environmental agencies blasted Pruitt for attempting to repeal President Obama’s signature climate rule.

“The proposed repeal will make our efforts to reduce carbon pollution more difficult, and endanger the health and welfare of our residents,” they wrote in a letter.

“In addition to its greenhouse gas benefits, the CPP would help to reduce transported air pollution from other states, helping jurisdictions comply with federal air quality standards. The Clean Power Plan would drive emissions reductions under a consistent framework across the country, and in doing so accelerate the technical and regulatory innovations that make these reductions cheaper.”

The letter was signed by state officials from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

The letter, which was facilitated by the Georgetown Climate Center, emphasizes that the group of signatories includes states representing a combined population of 114 million and 44 percent of the U.S. economy.

The authors note that increasing investments in low-carbon energy resources, along with improvements in energy efficiency, has aided in reducing carbon emissions from the power section. EPA’s assertion that the CPP would harm the economy is unfounded, they wrote.

“State efforts demonstrate that reductions in carbon emissions can occur in tandem with economic growth, and the Clean Power Plan provides us the flexibility to continue employing proven methods to meet federal emission standards while growing our economies,” they wrote.

“EPA’s analysis of the proposed repeal’s impacts raises serious questions about EPA’s valuation of the benefits of environmental regulation, which could have long-term implications for the health and safety of our residents.”

Pruitt formally initiated the repeal last year and has started the process of issuing a replacement rule. While there has been debate about what a new rule would be, the Trump administration is believed to be looking for an “inside the fence line” rule, which would target specific plants.

This move is supported by business groups that argued against a total repeal of the rule. Others, however, argue that an inside-the-fence approach would actually do more harm than no rule at all.

Public comments on the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan are due April 26. The administration has said it plans to finalize the repeal of climate rule by October.