WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, released the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to ease carbon dioxide limits placed on new coal-fired power plants.
“Yesterday, as world leaders gathered in Poland to discuss serious ways to address the growing threat of climate change, scientists revealed that global emissions of carbon dioxide have reached a record high in 2018. Today, the Trump Administration’s EPA has chosen to roll back a protection that requires new coal-fired power plants to capture the carbon dioxide they produce. The disconnect could not be more stark or more dangerous.
“Today’s decision is both foolish and unnecessary. It is feasible to capture harmful emissions from power plants with technology. We know that limiting carbon emissions will protect our environment and public health. But as the world discusses meaningful solutions to deal with climate change, this EPA is choosing, instead, to exacerbate the problem by doubling down on dirty coal technology.
“Make no mistake: this move will not bring the coal industry back no matter what President Trump tries to say. As a West Virginia native, I know the very real challenges that coal miners are facing in today’s day and age. But this regulation is not the source of the coal industry’s woes – market forces are. Natural gas and in many places renewables are a cheaper option. A record number of coal-fired power plants are shutting down. The industry employs just over 50,000 workers. Rolling back a protection that ensures harmful carbon emissions do not escape into our atmosphere will not reverse these trends.
“What we should be doing is using our energy and resources to foster new economic opportunities for communities that may be dependent on the old world order. In 2017, nearly 3.2 million Americans were working in wind, solar, energy efficiency and other clean energy jobs. Clean energy and efficiency investments made over the last decade have lowered energy costs in this country and expanded economic opportunities. We know what we need to be doing to cut harmful pollution, create new jobs and economic opportunities and protect our planet for future generations. With this decision, this EPA is willfully choosing to ignore the clear science on climate change, put our health at risk and hamper our economy.”