The Association to Preserve Cape Cod sharply denounced the announcement today by the Trump administration to repeal the Clean Power Plan and replace it with a policy that will increase planet-warming carbon emissions that contribute to climate change.
The proposed policy change by the Environmental Protection Agency calls for individual states to be allowed to adopt their own rules for regulating emissions from coal-fired power plants, which produce the dirtiest emissions and the most greenhouse gases. This dramatic reversal in efforts by the EPA to regulate and reduce carbon pollution is, according to projections by some climate analysts, expected to result in up to 12 times more emissions of greenhouse gas over the next decade.
“This move by the current administration to allow more greenhouse gases to contribute to climate change comes in the very same year when Cape Cod was pummeled by a string of monster storms in March that brought destructive coastal erosion and widespread flooding,” said Andrew Gottlieb, APCC executive director. “We’re living with the impacts of climate change right now on Cape Cod and it will only get worse. With this dismantling of the Clean Power Plan, the EPA is turning its back on its responsibility to protect health of the citizens of this country. It’s a shameful display of pandering to the special interests of the coal lobby at the expense of the environment,” said Gottlieb.
In January of this year, APCC sent a letter to then-EPA administrator Scott Pruitt voicing strong opposition to the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan. In its letter, APCC laid out the ramifications to Cape Cod of reversing course on a commitment by the U.S. to reduce carbon emissions and slow the impacts of climate change.
The text of the letter follows.
January 10, 2018
Scott Pruitt, Administrator
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460
RE: Opposition to Repeal of the Clean Power Plan
Dear Administrator Pruitt:
The Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC) strongly opposes the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan (CPP), and urges the EPA to reconsider its intentions to terminate this critically important national emissions control standard.
Established in 1968, APCC is the Cape Cod region’s leading nonprofit environmental organization, working for the adoption of laws, policies and programs that protect and enhance Cape Cod’s natural resources and quality of life. With ever-increasing urgency, much of APCC’s efforts in recent years have been focused on the need to address climate change and its impacts on Cape Cod. Climate change has emerged as the greatest environmental threat facing our region’s natural resources, economy and human population. Cape Cod communities are already experiencing worsening impacts from sea level rise, coastal erosion and an increase in frequency and severity of coastal storms associated with a changing climate.
The settled consensus of the world body of scientists, based on fact-based research and overwhelming evidence, is that carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are the driving force behind climate change. The continued emission of CO2 pollution and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere threatens the health, welfare and even the lives of American citizens and people worldwide. Some recent data suggests the world’s climate is at the brink of certain thresholds, that once crossed, will result in rapid, unpredictable and potentially irreversible catastrophic changes that will impact the Earth’s ecosystems and seriously disrupt human society.
Electrical power plants fired by fossil fuels are responsible for 31 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.—the single largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in the nation. Any effort to effectively reduce the greenhouse gasses that cause climate change must include a substantial reduction in power plant emissions levels. The CPP would achieve that objective.
Issuance of the CPP by the EPA in 2015, with its requirement for significant reductions in CO2 pollution emissions from power plants, has been the most important step to date taken by the U.S. to address climate change. Implementation of the CPP would set our nation on the right track toward mitigating climate change and its impacts, and it would secure the U.S.’s position as a responsible global partner in the effort to control CO2 emissions.
Emissions reductions in greenhouse gas pollutants resulting from CPP implementation would also reduce
emissions of particle pollution, further improving public health in the U.S. The EPA’s own 2015 analysis
estimates that the CPP would prevent 1,500 to 3,600 premature deaths, 90,000 asthma attacks in
children, up to 1,700 heart attacks, 1,700 hospital admissions and 300,000 missed workdays.
Repeal of the CPP would be a disastrous reversal in our nation’s energy and emissions policies, and
overlooks the investments being made and advances being achieved in the private sector and by
individual states and cities in moving this nation toward a future built on reliable renewable energy
production. Indeed, the proposed repeal suggests the EPA’s priorities rest with the financial interests of
the coal industry instead of with the well-being and will of the American people.
The EPA has a legal requirement under the Clean Air Act—a requirement that was upheld by the U.S.
Supreme Court—to regulate CO2 as a pollutant that endangers human health. Repeal of the CPP would
be in direct conflict with the EPA’s charge to protect the nation’s environment and the health of its
citizens, a responsibility entrusted to the agency since its establishment in 1970.
The CPP is an integral component in the necessary transition to a modern, clean, reliable and affordable
national energy infrastructure, and it is an important air pollution standard that will help protect human
health and the environment. APCC therefore once again urges the EPA to withdraw its proposal to repeal
the Clean Power Plan.
cc: Sen. Edward Markey
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Rep. William Keating