WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its final rule to repeal and replace the Clean Power Plan.

“Nearly four years ago, the Clean Power Plan set the first federal targets to reduce carbon emissions from our nation’s existing power plants. Back then, critics of the plan – and there were plenty – argued that those targets were too ambitious, and would result in some kind of economic fallout that would beleaguer us all. Today, we know just how wrong those critics were. As it turns out, America’s utilities are already on track to meet and surpass the goals set by the Clean Power Plan, and Americans are reaping the benefits with lower utility bills.

“The fact is, the Obama-Biden Administration had both the foresight to know that our future lies in the clean energy economy and the political courage to tackle climate change in a way that would unite our country and set an example for the rest of the world. Instead of building off the momentum from the last administration, the Trump Administration is showing us yet again that they lack the foresight and political courage to lead on the issue of climate change. By repealing the Clean Power Plan and replacing it with a perverse version, the Trump Administration is putting American lives and our economy at risk, and ensuring that our country will forego the economic opportunities of a clean energy future.

“The Trump plan is founded upon a warped reinterpretation of the Clean Air Act that allows states to decide whether or not to regulate one of the largest sources of carbon emissions in our country. Once again, we see that this EPA is manipulating the very meaning of ‘cooperative federalism’ to whatever definition benefits industry the most, even if that means hurting public health. By increasing the efficiency of power plants that run on dirty fossil fuel, experts tell us this plan will actually cause more carbon emissions.

“At a time when Americans are urging us to take meaningful climate action and reduce our carbon footprint, today’s Dirty Power Plan is a failure of vision and leadership.”