State Officials Oppose the Trump Administration's Proposal to Replace the Clean Power Plan

August 22, 2018

On Tuesday, August 21, 2018, the Trump Administration announced its proposal to replace the Clean Power Plan. Environment and energy agency leaders from 14 states sent a letter to EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler opposing the proposal and stating that it fails to reduce carbon pollution from power plants and puts their citizens at risk from the dangerous impacts of climate change.

Several state governors have also issued statements of opposition to the proposal. Below are statements made by state officials about the Trump Administration's proposed rule:

California Governor Jerry Brown

“This is a declaration of war against America and all of humanity – it will not stand. Truth and common sense will triumph over Trump’s insanity.”

Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy

“With sea levels already expected to rise by nearly two feet by 2050, climate change presents an existential threat to Connecticut – particularly our coastal communities and maritime economy. It’s not a far-off problem; it’s here and we see the effects every day. Weather patterns are more powerful and unpredictable than ever. Western states are beset by devastating drought and unprecedented wildfires. And without real action, the problem will get exponentially worse. Yet, President Trump continues to cave to the will of polluters and is once again rolling back commonsense protections – and it will not only exacerbate climate change, it will make our air dirtier and expose people to pollution. In fact, President Trump’s own EPA estimates that as many as 1,400 people per year will die prematurely because of the increased pollution caused by this backwards rule, and as a downwind state Connecticut will be disproportionately affected. Regardless of these shortsighted and dangerous actions from Washington, my administration will continue to do its part to combat climate change and protect the health of our residents.”

Delaware Governor John Carney

“Delawareans up and down our state are already experiencing the effects of climate change and sea level rise. Delaware is the lowest-lying U.S. state, and 17,000 homes here are at permanent risk of inundation. Rising average temperatures and stronger storms pose risks to our $8 billion agricultural industry and threaten our natural resources. And unchecked air pollution presents health risks for all Delawareans.

“The Clean Power Plan set national targets for carbon emission reductions, but provided flexibility for the states to determine how best to achieve these targets. We have worked hard in Delaware to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and partner with other states in addressing pollution that feeds rapid climate change. This proposed replacement of the Clean Power Plan will make our efforts to reduce carbon pollution more difficult, and will remove a strong incentive for state and federal governments to work together to clean up our air.

“Put simply, it’s a bad idea to abandon any tool we have to fight climate change together. Through the U.S. Climate Alliance, we are already working with states to uphold the goals of the Paris climate agreement. But today, I join leaders across our country in calling on the Trump Administration to abandon this new proposed rule and reinstate the Clean Power Plan so we can provide the global leadership necessary to confront this threat.”

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy

"Across our state, New Jerseyans are experiencing the destructive effects of climate change first-hand. I have met and spoken with residents who have been impacted by flash floods and severe storms, and must now look to rebuild their homes and lives following damage and devastation. We must do whatever we can to prevent such tragedies and protect our residents and environment for generations to come.

"Reversing efforts to combat climate change and increasing carbon emissions nationwide is not only a shameful move by the Trump Administration, but one that puts lives at risk and drastically harms human health. While the Trump Administration turns a blind eye to the reality of climate change, my administration remains committed to keeping the state on a path to 100 percent clean energy by 2050 and accelerating the development of renewable energy sources and our clean energy economy for the benefit of all New Jerseyans."

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

"The time is now to harness American ingenuity to address and lead the fight against this global challenge. Instead, in a summer of raging wildfires and extreme storms, following the worst hurricane year on record, the Trump administration is inexplicably failing to protect Americans from a serious threat to our health and security."

Vermont Governor Phil Scott

“Today, the EPA is poised to replace the national program put in place to significantly reduce greenhouse gas and harmful air pollutant emissions with a program that keeps allowable levels about the same. The U.S. must continue to provide responsible environmental leadership, and the proposed replacement for the Clean Power Plan does not appear to live up to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) mission or provide the national leadership we need in this area.

“As communities across the country deal with the impacts of climate change and air pollution, this is simply the wrong approach. A better path forward would be to come together on a bipartisan basis to reduce emissions and advance clean and affordable energy.

“Vermont has worked with a regional coalition from Maine to Maryland to reduce emissions from electricity generation. The report I just received from my Climate Action Commission makes it abundantly clear we have more work to do in transportation and building energy use. In my view allowing increased emissions in electricity production is counterproductive and simply not an option for our state, or our nation. My Administration will oppose the proposed federal changes, and I will speak with our Attorney General T.J. Donovan to discuss options for challenging this proposal."

Washington Governor Jay Inslee

"This proposal would replace one of the nation’s most powerful tools to fight climate change with a sham that guarantees the United States will no longer work at a federal level to reverse these threats to our health and economies. Encouraging new investments in the nation’s dirtiest sources of energy is an embarrassing and reckless abdication of U.S. leadership. Such actions fly in the face of the global effort to fight climate change, a goal embraced by every other nation in the world. By rolling back the Clean Power Plan, the administration is putting the health and security of all Americans at risk. Their own analysis says thousands of additional people will die in our country as a result of the increased pollution allowed by this plan.

"This deadly rollback abandons the government’s obligation to protect our health and reduce carbon pollution, in favor of propping up the dying coal industry at precisely the time we need to be transitioning to clean energy options. We’ve proven in Washington state that it is possible to create jobs through the clean energy economy and protect health and our environment.

"The impacts of carbon pollution know no borders. Washingtonians know how harmful climate change is to our health, as we are suffering through horrific wildfires, extreme heat, and historically unhealthy air quality levels. A rollback of the Clean Power Plan will do nothing to help the air we breathe, will fail to sustain and grow the clean jobs our workers and their children need, and promulgates wide-ranging and long-term deadly impacts both here in Washington and around the world.

"We will not stand by and allow this cynical action to threaten our state. Washington has stepped up to challenge the Trump administration’s damaging and unlawful actions in court – and we haven’t lost a case yet.

"On behalf of our state, our environment, and Washingtonians concerned about the impacts of global climate change, we will challenge this unlawful action in court."