California Urges Action on Climate

Environment California

Los Angeles – Today, California, along with 13 other states, praised the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan, a proposed rule to clean up global warming pollution from power plants. Power plants are the largest source of the carbon pollution fueling global warming, accounting for about 40 percent of total emissions. The EPA Clean Power Plan will set the first federal limit on such pollution.

State leaders from CA, CT, DE, IL, MA, MD, ME, MN, NY, NH, OR, RI, VT, and WA sent a letter to EPA, noting that:

  • The need for action on climate is clear and urgent;
  • Leading states have already demonstrated that shifting to a cleaner, more efficient electric power system is feasible and comes with many benefits for the environment and for public health; and
  • “Even greater levels of cost-effective carbon pollution reductions from the power sector are achievable” and necessary to prevent the worst impacts of global warming.

Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate at Environment California, issued the following statement in response:

“California’s leaders are exactly right: The Clean Power Plan represents the most significant step America can take to collectively address the challenge of global warming.

California is already showing the way forward. Programs like our Energy Efficiency Standards, our Renewable Portfolio Standard, and AB 32 really work. They are cost-effective. They provide reliable, clean power. And they do so while supporting economic growth.

In 2012, global warming emissions in the United States reached their lowest level since 1994. Wind energy in the US has tripled since 2009, and solar has tripled in the last two years. Our cars are on track to nearly double their efficiency. And, at the same time, our economy has grown. Much of this progress is due to smart energy policies enacted by leading states like California and by President Obama, including renewable energy standards, energy efficiency standards, and limits on carbon pollution.

The Clean Power Plan allows states to build upon existing programs to make even greater progress. And it allows states the flexibility to be a part of the solution while choosing an approach that works best for them.

Every state can accomplish the goals set by the draft Clean Power Plan, and more. For example, states are increasingly using efficiency programs to do more with less energy – saving money and creating jobs. Solar and wind power are increasingly economically competitive with fossil fuels. And the United States has enough it has enough technical solar and wind energy potential to meet country’s energy needs more than 100 times over.

As the science has made abundantly clear, action on climate is urgent. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2014 is shaping up to be the hottest year on record, globally. People across the country are feeling the effects, from droughts and wildfires, to more extreme storms, to increased flooding linked to sea level rise. How dangerous the problem becomes depends on how quickly the world can slash its emissions of global warming pollution.

We look forward to working with Governor Jerry Brown and states across the country to implement the Clean Power Plan. We are backing up state leaders and President Obama with an outreach campaign to millions of Americans connecting the dots between the real impacts of global warming and the clean energy solutions already at hand. We owe it to future generations to seize this moment and chart a course to a truly clean energy future.”

The leading states letter and comments were facilitated by the Georgetown Climate Center. A press release with quotes from selected leaders can be found at this link.