Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center
October 16, 2014
The Honorable Barack H. Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama,
As solar power installers, manufacturers, designers, aggregators, product suppliers, and consultants, we welcome the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s unveiling of the Clean Power Plan, the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants. Power plants account for 40 percent of America’s carbon pollution. The solar industry offers a wide range of technologies to generate energy pollution-free from the sun and reduce the need for polluting sources of energy. This plan is a critical step toward transforming our energy system to one that protects our health and environment, and that of our children.
As state and community leaders begin to seek effective measures to reach these goals, we wish to underscore the tremendous potential of solar energy in cutting carbon pollution. Last April at the White House Solar Summit, you highlighted that every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar. As the nation’s fastest growing source of renewable energy, solar can play a major role in meeting our nation’s energy and environmental challenges. Solar energy already provides enough pollution-free electricity to displace 18 billion pounds of coal, and could be a game-changer in a well-crafted Clean Power Plan.
With 143,000 Americans employed in the solar industry in more than 6,100 businesses across the nation, we stand by Gina McCarthy’s remarks that “we have never—nor will we ever—have to choose between a healthy economy and a healthy environment.” The rate of job growth in the solar industry is unmatched by any other sector in the nation. When developing their compliance strategies, communities should maximize the solar industry’s powerful ability to reduce pollution, create local jobs, and promote economic investment.
The EPA’s plan comes at a time when the fight against climate change absolutely requires bold and ambitious goals. We believe that your proposed plan is a good stepping-stone, and can be strengthened by maximizing the potential for solar energy. We are eager to work closely with local stakeholders to achieve the biggest carbon reductions possible. Thank you for your leadership in helping steer us and future generations toward a cleaner and healthier environment.