WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement after President Trump signed an extreme executive order that rolls back former President Obama’s rules addressing climate change, including the Clean Power Plan – the Environmental Protection Agency’s landmark rule that would dramatically cut dangerous carbon emissions from new and existing power plants by 32 percent by 2030. The order goes even further by calling into question the impacts of climate change and the social costs of greenhouse gases, while abandoning resiliency efforts and doubling down on dirty fossil fuels.
“The new EPA Administrator likes to quote Yogi Berra who famously said, ‘The future ain’t what it used to be.’ Unfortunately, today’s Executive Order will ensure that’s the case – undoing this country’s climate change initiatives means a dirtier and less prosperous future.
“With this Executive Order, President Trump has chosen to recklessly bury his head in the sand. Walking away from the Clean Power Plan and other climate initiatives, including critical resiliency projects is not just irresponsible – it’s irrational. Today’s executive order calls into question America’s credibility and our commitment to tackling the greatest environmental challenge of our lifetime. With the world watching, President Trump and Administrator Pruitt have chosen to shirk our responsibility, disregard clear science and undo the significant progress our country has made to ensure we leave a better, more sustainable planet for generations to come.
“This order clearly proves that this administration is not serious about protecting jobs and our environment. As a West Virginia native, I understand the plight of coal miners in today’s day and age. But the Clean Power Plan isn’t the coal industry’s problem – market forces are. Let’s be perfectly clear: this executive order will not bring back the coal industry. It is an insult to the men and women who voted for him for Donald Trump to say otherwise.
“Instead of abandoning climate and clean air protections, we should be continuing to foster new economic opportunities in distressed communities that may be dependent on the old world order. Clean energy and efficiency investments made over the last eight years have lowered energy costs in this country and provided economic opportunities nationwide. States like Delaware and California – who are leading the nation in curbing carbon emissions – have seen carbon pollution go down, while their economies have been lifted up. With the Clean Power Plan, the EPA has crafted a rule that ensures all states are doing their fair share in reducing carbon pollution, provides states flexibility in meeting new carbon standards and lowers household energy bills. It is clear the benefits of the Clean Power Plan far outweigh the costs, especially because we know that failing to address climate change now only costs us more in the long run.
“But Delaware and California can’t stem the tide of climate change alone. This threat is greater than any one state, or region or country – we all have to do our part, but the United States has an important leadership role to play. Americans don’t sit back and wait for others to take the lead to address global challenges. Our country has always led by example, and addressing climate change should be no different. Today is a step backward, but I will continue fighting and defending the Clean Power Plan and smart policies that address global climate change so that, one day, we can look our grandchildren in the eye and tell them that we did the right thing and fought for their future.”