14 States Submit Joint Comments Opposing Clean Power Plan Replacement

October 31, 2018

Environmental and energy agency leaders from 14 states today submitted joint comments opposing the Trump Administration’s proposed replacement of the Clean Power Plan (CPP). In a letter to Acting US EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, officials from states representing more than 120 million Americans and over 42 percent of the U.S. economy expressed strong concern that the EPA’s proposed energy plan would be detrimental to citizens’ health and jeopardize states’ efforts to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. State leaders encouraged the EPA to abandon the proposed plan, and to move forward with the Clean Power Plan, which has the potential to spur economic development, protect citizens from the worsening effects of climate change, and reduce harmful air pollution. The statement, signed by agency leaders from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, was submitted as part of the public comment period for the proposed plan.

In the comments, facilitated by the Georgetown Climate Center, agency leaders were critical of EPA’s backward-looking approach, which focuses on outdated and dirty coal technologies rather than clean and cost-effective renewable energy. The state leaders also voiced concern that EPA’s weak regulatory approach provides no minimum standards for states, has no definitive dates for compliance, and will facilitate a “race-to-the-bottom.” Finally, the state leaders flagged a regulatory loophole proposed by EPA that would gut air quality protections provided by the New Source Review Program — a provision of the Clean Air Act that protects against increases in pollution resulting from modifications at power plants and other types of facilities.

Additionally, states emphasized that pollution regulations have reduced harmful air emissions to a fraction of historical levels even as their economies and national GDP have grown, demonstrating that pollution reductions can occur as economies strengthen.

States governed by leaders of both parties have consistently affirmed their support for the Clean Power Plan since the Trump Administration announced its intention to repeal and replace the CPP in the fall of 2017.

On February 26, 2018, agency heads from 12 states released a joint statement commenting on the EPA’s proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan and encouraging the EPA to implement a meaningful federal program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

On April 17, 2018, a bipartisan group of officials from 13 states again urged the EPA not to repeal the Clean Power Plan, citing opportunities for economic development, cleaner air, and resilience in the face of climate change.

On August 21, 2018, agency leaders from 14 states released a joint statement opposing the Trump Administration’s proposed replacement of the Clean Power Plan. The signatories, whose states totaled 123 million people and comprised over 43 percent of the U.S. economy, emphasized the need to reduce carbon pollution that drives the harmful effects of climate change, including increased wildfires, severe heatwaves, and costly storms.

Today’s statement builds on this previous state leadership advocating for strong climate change action from the federal government.

Read the full Comment Letter (PDF)

See the full list of state comments and statements: Collective State Comments on Proposed Repeal and Replacement of the Clean Power Plan.