State Reactions to Trump Repealing the Clean Power Plan

October 10, 2017

Below are statements made by state officials about the Trump Administration's decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan.

Arkansas

Ted J. Thomas, Chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission

Thomas told the New York Times his state is in the process of shifting from coal to cheaper natural gas despite challenging the Clean Power Plan in court. 

“Even if they repeal the Clean Power Plan, or replace it with something that doesn’t require us to do very much, you still have to reckon with the fact that ultimately regulations on carbon are coming,” Mr. Thomas said. “So we need to develop options to deal with that other than sticking our heads in the sand and hoping we can just file lawsuits forever.

You can either be prepared or unprepared,” he added, “and that’s a pretty simple choice.”

 

California

Gov. Jerry Brown

"Scrapping the Clean Power Plan ignores sound science and the extreme cost of climate change. California will, in fact, exceed the goals of the Clean Power Plan. We will push ahead and work with states that share our belief in science and the imperative to combat global warming." 

Attorney General Xavier Becerra

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a legal responsibility to significantly reduce carbon pollution from power plants. This responsibility can only be fulfilled through a strong, effective, and science-based policy like the Clean Power Plan. Repealing it simply won’t cut it. That is why I will do everything in my power to defend the Clean Power Plan. California has already shown that we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants while growing our economy, and we refuse to let this Administration shirk its responsibility at the national level. I grew up knowing that I could breathe clean air. I want all parents to be able to say that their children will breathe clean air, too.”

  

Colorado

Gov. John Hickenlooper

“Here in Colorado, clean energy is not a partisan issue: 95 percent of Coloradans want to see our state move toward a cleaner energy future,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “Clean energy is an economic engine for our state and for our nation. These are well-paying jobs, most of which cannot be automated or shipped overseas. At the same time, renewable energy can actually lower customers’ energy bills. We have already set greenhouse gas reduction goals that would go beyond those set forth in the Clean Power Plan. We know it’s good for Colorado jobs, for our economy, and for our health.”  

Gov. Hickenlooper also told the New York Times his state has plans to exceed the goals that had been set under the Clean Power Plan because the state is closing coal plants early and developing jobs in wind and other renewables.

“We have dramatically cleaner air and we are saving money. My question to the E.P.A. would be, ‘Which part of that don’t you like?’ ”

 

Connecticut 

Governor Dan Malloy

“This announcement is another disappointing policy reversal that will harm Americans. The Trump administration continues to ignore the clear and indisputable scientific fact that humans are responsible for climate change and that the ever increasing severe weather we experience is a direct result. If the federal government refuses to act in the best interest of the people of this nation, then it is incumbent upon state and local leaders to act and work to reverse the harm human activity has done to our planet. Connecticut is a leader in addressing global warming and resiliency by increasing deployment of green energy technologies and promoting energy efficiency. Irrespective of what nonsensical energy and environmental policies come out of Washington, our state will hold firm in its commitment to a clean and protected environment.”

Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman

“Instead of strengthening U.S. energy leadership, President Trump and Secretary Pruitt are working to bring back dangerous policies that jeopardize our economy, human health, and our environment. That decision makes it even more important that states become energy leaders by supporting the renewable energy initiatives, innovation, and entrepreneurship that drives a cleaner, greener economy – it’s right for our residents, our ecosystem, and our economy. Most importantly, it moves smart energy policy forward, not backward.”

Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee

“It is sadly very ironic to see the head of the EPA, a federal agency dedicated to protecting public health as well as natural resources, proclaiming the return of coal – the dirtiest and most polluting fossil fuel. Burning more coal adds not only to climate changing carbon emissions, but to conventional pollution. This means an increased risk of illness – and even death – for thousands more Americans. This is of concern right here in Connecticut as prevailing wind patterns will carry pollution from coal plants to our south and west into our atmosphere, threatening the health and well-being of our residents.”

 

Massachusetts

Attorney General Maura Healey

Healey said she plans to sue the Trump administration over its move to kill an Obama-era effort to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Healey said it’s “essential that the EPA address our country’s largest source of carbon pollution — existing fossil fuel-burning power plants — to mitigate climate change.”

 

Peter Lorenz, Communications Director for the Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs

“The Baker-Polito Administration remains committed to meeting the targets established under the Clean Power Plan and other agreements critical to ensuring the Commonwealth remains a national leader in securing a clean energy future and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Governor Baker’s climate change executive order, bipartisan energy legislation and continued efforts to meet state and regional carbon emissions reduction targets are all examples of Massachusetts’ commitment to lead on combatting climate change and addressing resiliency.”

 

Minnesota

Governor Mark Drayton

“The Trump Administration’s constant assault on our environment will not diminish Minnesotans’ resolve to build a vibrant clean energy economy. We will not allow President Trump to stand in the way, as we do everything in our power to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions that threaten our health and our environment. In the upcoming 2018 Session, I will again urge the Legislature to adopt the ‘50 by 30’ Renewable Energy Standard, which Lt. Governor Smith and legislators from both parties have championed. We must do more to ensure our children and grandchildren inherit a better future, and an even stronger clean energy economy.”


Lt. Gov. Tina Smith

“President Trump’s decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan is bad for our environment, our health, and our economy. This decision won’t change the fact that wind, and increasingly solar energy, cost less than coal. In Minnesota, clean energy already supports more than 57,000 jobs, with growth that outpaces the rest of our state’s economy. Our administration remains committed to advancing clean energy policies that are good for the planet and good for our economy. Next session, we will continue to advocate for the bipartisan ‘50 by 30’ Renewable Energy Standard, to move Minnesota to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.”

 

Nevada

Gov. Brian Sandoval

“Nevada was well on its way to exceeding the expectations outlined in the Clean Power Plan prior to its inception and will remain on that path,” the governor said in a statement. “Today’s announcement will not change the state’s approach to ensuring our energy future includes abundant clean and renewable energy choices for Nevada consumers.”

 

New York

Governor Andrew Cuomo

"The Trump Administration's move to dismantle the Clean Power Plan is a reckless decision that gives power plant operators free reign to do what they will without any concern for our climate. It rolls back the progress we have made to reduce carbon emissions and puts industry interests ahead of our ability to reduce damaging emissions. Climate change is a profound threat to our planet, and it cannot be wished away by denial.

"There is no denial here in New York. While the Trump Administration takes a back a seat to the rest of the world, New York is on track to meet our ambitious target of achieving 50 percent of electricity from renewables by 2030, and we will continue to lead the fight to meet the standards set forth in both the Paris Accord and the Clean Power Plan."

 

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

By seeking to repeal the Clean Power Plan – especially without any credible commitment to replacing it – the Trump Administration’s campaign of climate change denial continues, once again putting industry special interests ahead of New Yorkers’ and all Americans’ safety, health, and the environment. 

“I am proud to lead the coalition of states and localities defending the Clean Power Plan in federal court. If and when the Trump Administration finalizes this repeal, I will sue to protect New  Yorkers’ and put a stop to the  Trump Administration’s irresponsible and illegal efforts to turn back the clock on public health.

“Fuel-burning power plants are one of our nation’s largest sources of climate change pollution, and common-sense science –  and the law – dictate that EPA take action to cut these emissions. In fact, states like New York have demonstrated that greenhouse gases from power plants can be reduced dramatically, while holding the line on utility bills, maintaining grid reliability, and adding billions of dollars and thousands of jobs to our economies. 

“The Trump Administration’s persistent and indefensible denial of climate change – and their continued assault on actions essential to stemming its increasing devastation – is reprehensible, and I will use every available legal tool to fight their dangerous agenda.”

 

Oregon

Gov. Kate Brown

"I am deeply disappointed in the repeal of the Clean Power Plan rule. Oregon will not turn its back on the environment or the thousands of jobs that have been created through the clean energy industry. Oregon was the first state in the nation to adopt a coal-to-clean law and will continue to be a leader in clean energy. That’s why we’re stepping up, as the federal government steps down from its leadership role in tackling climate change."

 

Pennsylvania

Neil Shader, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Shader said the department would review the EPA proposal. Nonetheless, he said Gov. Wolf disagreed with Pruitt’s decision.

“Governor Wolf and DEP are disappointed in the President’s decision,” Shader said, in a statement. “It ignores science and the country’s global leadership to address climate change. Pennsylvania has made real progress in reducing carbon emissions and DEP will continue to work to find ways to reduce PA’s carbon footprint while ensuring the state remains a net energy exporter.”

 

Rhode Island

Gov. Gina Raimondo

"The repeal of the Clean Power Plan is the latest in a series of disappointing and misguided actions taken by the Trump Administration that threaten our progress on climate change and put our states - and nation - at great risk. This move will not stifle our efforts or leadership in Rhode Island. We're the only state in America with an offshore wind farm; we're making it easier for homeowners and businesses to invest in clean energy resources; we're working to make our energy system ten times cleaner; and we're partnering with other states to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the region, all while creating new clean energy jobs for our economy. As a coastal state, Rhode Island is uniquely vulnerable to a changing climate. Its effects are already being felt here, and we must continue our work to prepare for the expected impacts and to mitigate further environmental harm."

 

Washington 

Gov. Jay Inslee

“By repealing the Clean Power Plan, President Trump and his EPA administrator are recklessly removing any meaningful, science-based federal restraint on the carbon pollution that power plants are allowed to pump into our atmosphere. The United States Supreme Court has ruled on three separate occasions that the EPA has a responsibility, under the Clean Air Act and other federal laws, to protect American communities from harmful carbon pollution. The Clean Power Plan was constructed to give states the flexibility to choose its own path to a clean energy future, and hold each state responsible for reducing carbon pollution. This decision by the EPA instead rejects science and directly threatens Americans’ health and well-being. 

“Washington state is already feeling the harmful and costly effects of climate change – in more devastating wildfire seasons, strained water resources, increasingly acidic coastal waters, and more. And we are taking action to respond: at my direction, the Washington State Department of Ecology has implemented the nation’s first Clean Air Rule, to limit carbon pollution from our state’s largest sources. We are investing in new clean energy technologies – fueling jobs and business growth in an area with tremendous economic opportunity. We are partnering with other states – through the bipartisan United States Climate Alliance – to fill the void left by the Trump Administration’s total abdication of American leadership.

“This action by the EPA is a setback in the struggle against climate change, but it will not and cannot stop Washington state and our determined allies in the fight against this existential threat.”

 

U.S. Climate Alliance

Statement

"Today's proposal by the U.S. EPA to repeal the Clean Power Plan would take our nation in the wrong direction. As communities around the world recover from devastating hurricanes and wildfires, now is not the time to retreat in the fight against climate change. 

"The U.S. Climate Alliance remains committed to meeting the Clean Power Plan targets. While the federal government steps backward, states will press ahead to confront the existential threat of climate change.”