Today, President Obama announced the Administration’s biggest step yet in the fight against global climate change – the Clean Power Plan, which sets the first-ever carbon pollution standards for power plants.
There is consensus across a broad swath of supports – from business to mayors, medical professionals to faith leader, and environmentalists to civil rights groups, that this landmark action will protect public health, reduce energy bills for households and businesses, create American jobs, and bring clean power to communities across the country.
Below are just some of the reactions:
American Lung Association, Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO:
Today, President Obama honored his commitment to act on climate change, a public health emergency. The Clean Power Plan is a tremendous step forward in the United States’ fight against carbon pollution and climate change that will also bring immediate health benefits to the American people. EPA estimates that the Clean Power Plan will prevent up to 3,600 premature deaths and 90,000 asthma attacks in 2030, as well as prevent 300,000 missed days of work and school.
National Hispanic Medical Association, President and CEO Elena Rios:
I, along with the National Hispanic Medical Association’s 50,000 member doctors and allied health professionals, strongly support the EPA’s final rule limiting carbon pollution from existing power plants. Pollution from these power plants — both carbon pollution and other toxic power-plant emissions — sickens people raising the risk of illnesses like asthma, allergies, lung cancer and heart disease.
American Public Health Association, Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD:
We applaud the Clean Power Plan for boldly addressing this problem now. The new plan is projected to prevent 3,600 premature U.S. deaths and 90,000 asthma attacks among our nation’s children. Close to 90 percent of deaths resulting from power plant emissions will be prevented and the nation’s students and workers will see 300,000 fewer missed school and work days.
U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), President Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake:
Cities have been leading the way since 2005 with over 1,000 Mayors pledging to reduce their carbon emissions below 1990 levels through their efforts to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy, retrofitting lights and buildings, reducing waste, increasing recycling efforts, and reducing landfill emissions. The Mayors of this nation look forward to working with their states and engaging more with the utilities to implement sustainable GHG emission reductions that will not only protect the environment but also realize cost savings for consumers and businesses in their communities.
SEIU, International President, Mary Kay Henry:
In today’s out-of-balance economy, many hard-working moms and dads struggle to make ends meet and provide better lives for their families. At home and in their communities, many families are forced to breathe the most hazardously dirty air in America, caused by carbon emissions from nearby power plants — especially in communities of color. SEIU is the largest healthcare workers’ union in the United States. Our members know first-hand the impact of both life-threatening pollution and extreme weather events. The Clean Power Plan will both reduce greenhouse gas emissions that result in climate change and loosen the air pollution chokehold on working families’ lives and livelihoods by helping to improve air quality, which will provide relief to children and adults suffering from asthma and other respiratory ailments.
Blue Green Alliance, Executive Director Kim Glas:
Climate change is an environmental problem and an economic problem. But if we do this right, our actions to address it can become an opportunity. We look forward to working together in the coming months to develop an inclusive and comprehensive plan that protects our environment and creates growth and shared prosperity for generations to come.
Consumers Union, Policy Counsel Shannon Baker-Branstetter:
Many states are already well on their way in moving to cleaner sources of energy. Consumer Reports has long advocated for greater energy efficiency and clean energy as ways to lower electric bills in the long-term. The Clean Power Plan has a very reasonable schedule for states to implement these improvements, and the plan offers states the flexibility and control they need to reach the goals of cutting emissions in the most cost-effective ways.
Calvert Investments, Vice President of Shareholder Advocacy Stu Dalheim:
Climate change poses serious risks to financial markets and the U.S. economy which manages more than $13.5 billion. At Calvert, we believe solutions to climate change offer real opportunities to U.S. investors and companies. That’s why we strongly support the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. It’s common-sense, flexible and pragmatic approach will provide investors with the certainty needed to put their capital to work to continue the transition to a low-carbon economy.
CERES, President Mindy Lubber:
The Clean Power Plan is the right measure at the right time. It’s a flexible, practical and economically sound blueprint to transition America toward a low-carbon future. That’s why 365 leading companies, from small local businesses to iconic Fortune 500 brands, are supporting the EPA rule publicly and are calling for timely finalization of state implementation plans by state governors.
EverPower, President & CEO Jim Spencer:
There are 57,000 clean energy jobs in Pennsylvania and with the Clean Power Plan, we should expect that number to grow considerably. By allowing our state the opportunity to craft better, stronger renewable energy and energy efficiency policies, we can provide the market signal businesses, like mine, to keep investing in our state. This creates good jobs that can’t be outsourced, cuts carbon pollution and expands our economy.
General Mills, Chief Sustainability Officer Jerry Lynch:
General Mills is committed to doing our part to tackle climate change and we fully support the effective implementation of the Clean Power Plan. In particular, we applaud the efforts of our home state of Minnesota for the progress its energy officials are making in building a plan that will work cost-effectively for the families, farmers, municipalities and the business community alike.
SunEdison for EMEA and Americas, Executive Vice President Paul Gaynor:
The Clean Power Plan presents an important opportunity to create thousands of jobs, save customers money, and improve reliability of our electrical system. This isn’t about politics – it’s about economic opportunity for all Americans, and cost savings for everyone.
Calpine Corporation, President and Chief Executive Officer Thad Hill:
The Clean Power Plan represents a commitment to continuing the transition from carbon-intensive generation to efficient, low-carbon generation, This flexible, market-based solution will reward the companies that invest and have invested smartly in cleaner generation. We applaud the EPA for its efforts throughout this collaborative process and look forward to working with the agency, states and other stakeholders as the rule is ultimately implemented.
We are pleased to see the administration responded to the comments we and others made, that renewables are ready to serve. The Clean Energy Incentive Program holds promise as a way to encourage states to move forward well before 2022, we look forward to the opportunity the EPA is providing to comment on the details. We know wind energy is a solution that works, and we’re ready to meet this challenge.
PGE Corporation, President and CEO Tony Earley:
I congratulate the Administration on finalizing the Clean Power Plan rule and greatly appreciate the significant outreach and engagement with our sector. They took the time to understand that states and regions are in different starting places and have different opportunities for achieving emission reductions. While we are optimistic about the contributions this rule will make, it is very complex and we must complete an assessment of its impact on our customers, state and region.
Xcel Energy, CEO Ben Fowke:
Implementing clean energy is familiar ground for Xcel Energy. We have worked for years with our states to increase the use of renewable resources, to help customers save energy and to modernize and retire our coal plants—all at a reasonable cost. This approach has put our company on a sound course to achieve a 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide by 2020. We appreciate the EPA’s willingness to work with stakeholders in developing this groundbreaking and complex set of regulations.
Dominion, Chairman, President and CEO Thomas F. Farrell II:
The compliance targets for Virginia have moved in a positive direction that fairly recognizes the role of natural gas generation in reducing emissions. Dominion will work constructively with Governor McAuliffe, the state agencies, and other stakeholders on a compliance plan that has our customers as the first priority, ensures reliability, and maintains a diverse mix of electric generation. I commend Administrator McCarthy for making critical changes to the proposed rule.
The bishops welcome this important move by the administration to adopt long-awaited standards to mitigate climate change and safeguard public health, which are significant ways to live out our responsibility to care for God’s creation.
Green for All, Founder Van Jones:
If the news reports are accurate, the EPA will give extra credit to states that move early — and even more credit to states that focus on getting energy efficiency and renewables to low-income communities. That’s a big win for everyone working to get energy bills down and solar panels up in poor neighborhoods.
U.S. Black Chambers, President and CEO Ron Busby:
The EPA has devised a plan to have clean energy and build a low-carbon economy—and the Clean Power Plan is the solution. The implementation of the Clean Power Plan will reduce health related respiratory risks, create jobs in the clean energy industry and will also set a criterion to be replicated globally. The United States needs to spearhead this initiative of creating new ways to battle and prepare for climate change that has already impacted areas throughout the world. The U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. is committed to supporting the Clean Power Plan. USBC believes this action plan is the first step in combating climate change.
Truman National Security Project, Executive Director Mike Breen:
Power plants are currently responsible for 40 percent of America’s carbon dioxide emissions and one-third of domestic greenhouse gas emissions overall. We applaud the EPA for taking this step to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. This new rule builds upon steps already taken by our military to address the threat of climate change and puts the United States on the right trajectory to be a global leader in slashing emissions that fuel climate change. This is a positive step towards addressing the serious threat climate change poses to our national security.
Snow Sports Industries America, the National Ski Areas Association and Protect Our Winters:
The winter sports community applauds these historic standards. We appreciate the Administration’s bold leadership in placing meaningful reduction standards on the largest source of carbon emissions. It’s what’s needed in order to grow our $62 billion industry, support our 964,000 jobs and maintain the vibrancy of our resort communities that depend on tourism dollars throughout the year. These tighter targets and increased incentives for renewable energy and efficiency will help address the impacts of climate change – warmer, shorter winters, drought and wildfires. They will also position the U.S. well for upcoming climate talks in Paris at the end of this year. We know that these standards are good for our businesses and the future of our sports. It’s time now to embrace innovation and clean energy, and we thank The White House and the EPA for taking the first major step towards making that happen.
League of Conservation Voters, President Gene Karpinski:
In forty years of environmental advocacy, I’ve never been more proud of any President. A challenge as great as climate change requires steps as bold as this. These historic standards, which are the single biggest step our government has ever taken, will finally put a stop to our nation’s largest polluters’ ability to spew an unlimited amount of carbon pollution into our air. The politics of climate change have been steadily evolving over the last several years with poll after poll showing a majority of Americans supporting action to limit carbon pollution. Those politicians who oppose these widely popular new protections and repeat the fact-free talking points of the corporate polluters do so against the wishes of their constituents.
Natural Resources Defense Council, President Rhea Suh:
It’s a simple idea that will change the world: Cut carbon pollution today so our kids won’t inherit climate chaos tomorrow. That’s what this historic plan will achieve.
Sierra Club, Executive Director Michael Brune:
The Clean Power Plan is an opportunity for workers, entrepreneurs, and businesses to prosper as we go above and beyond the goals set by this plan. It is a step towards improving the quality of life for low income neighborhoods and communities of color, which have disproportionately borne the brunt of power plant pollution for decades. And it is a signal to the rest of the world that the U.S. is serious about acting on climate disruption and ready to lead the way toward a strong international climate agreement in Paris later this year.