Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center
Trenton – Today, President Trump and Acting EPA Administrator Wheeler announced plans to reverse the Clean Power Plan and replace it with their Dirty Power Plan. The Obama era Clean Power Plan was set to cut carbon pollution from power plants by 32% by 2030, improving public health and helping the nation to stave off the worst impacts of global warming. The new replacement plan is expected to flatline or even allow an increase in the burning of dirty, dangerous fossil fuels and stymie the transition of the power sector to clean, renewable energy.
Doug O’Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey, released the following statement:
“The Trump Dirty Power Plan is a love letter to the dying coal industry and sticks a thumb in the eye of climate science. The cost will be born states like New Jersey, which suffer from out-of-state air pollution and the impacts of climate change-induced extreme weather. We need a national plan to reduce carbon pollution from our fossil fuel power plants that is commiserate with the risk of the rising carbon levels in our atmosphere. The Murphy Administration has reversed the climate inaction of the Christie era, but this is a critical reminder that in the age of Trump, we need states to resist against federal climate rollbacks and move forward with bold climate action.
Increasing greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels like coal and natural gas will further exacerbate global warming and destabilize the climate. At a time when communities across the U.S. and Canadian West are threatened with historic wildfires and the East Coast, including New Jersey, has been hit by extreme rain events and flooding, this move is sheer folly, and it will have profound consequences for the nation and the world.
Americans and New Jerseyans should no longer tolerate pollution from power plants that endangers our health, our well-being and our children’s future. Continued reliance on 19th century fuel sources is a recipe for disaster, especially when we have cleaner, safer 21st century technologies.
Every other country in the world has signed on to the Paris Climate Agreement. The United States is the lone outlier. The good news is that state and regional work in the U.S. on reducing carbon pollution is ramping up. States, localities, businesses, and citizens will soon gather in San Francisco at the Global Climate Action Summit to celebrate this progress and announce even more ambitious commitments to reduce carbon pollution.
But given the urgency of the climate challenge – and the severe stakes of inaction for our citizens, businesses, and communities – we need national programs that will accelerate the reduction of carbon emissions. To prevent the worst impacts of global warming, we will need much more innovative cooperation across state and party lines, working on solutions across our whole economy and society.
Just earlier this month, the Trump administration announced the rollback of the Clean Car Standards, and now it is replacing the Clean Power Plan. Each regressive policy promoted by the administration makes it increasingly important for our states and cities to step in to protect our environment and make progress on climate change.
With the Trump administration ceding responsibility for climate change policy to the states, it becomes more critical for New Jersey to take action. The Murphy Administration is about to kick off its public stakeholder meetings on five critical energy areas for the revised Energy Master Plan to put New Jersey on a path to 100% clean fossil-free energy by 2050 this September and is still working to negotiate a reentry to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) program The importance of these programs has become even more critical. We need strong state leadership on the transition to clean, renewable energy more than ever.”