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Statement on U.S. EPA Clean Power Plan to Reduce Carbon Emissions

October 23, 2015

EPA Proposes Federal Plan to Reduce Carbon Emissions, Publishes Clean Power Plan
Texas groups disappointed in lack of state leadership to protect the climate


AUSTIN, Tex. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today published the Clean Power Plan and proposed a federal plan in the Federal Register, which marks the beginning of the implementation of President Obama’s historic policy to curb carbon pollution from power plants and ushers in an opportunity to act to create and implement plans to achieve the plan’s goals.

In response, the Sierra Club, Public Citizen, Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition, Clean Water Action, Texas Campaign for the Environment and Environment Texas released the following joint statement:

With the Clean Power Plan formally published, instead of denying the catastrophic effects of climate disruption like the record heat, floods and wildfires we experience here in Texas, it’s time to put aside partisan politics. We should get to work to protect our health, economy and communities by creating a strong state plan to reduce carbon emissions. Texas has many tools and opportunities to move forward with clean energy and become a national leader in the fight against climate change, but we’re disappointed to see that the only actions from our state leadership deny the very real problem of climate disruption and block common sense and achievable clean air protections.

We need to act now to protect the health of Texas’s citizens — like the thousands of children who already suffer from asthma exacerbated by bad air quality — and create clean energy jobs that can help employ our veterans returning from war. Wind, solar and energy efficiency are now so affordable we can lower consumer bills as well as helping achieve cleaner air and a livable climate. State leaders have demonstrated a complete lack of willingness to do what’s right for Texas and appear to be content to deny the reality of climate change and file needless lawsuits.

We’re encouraged that the EPA has a federal solution if the state continues to refuse to act. We will work diligently with the federal government to ensure a federal plan to clean up the air protects communities already affected by high levels of pollution are not exposed to more, safeguards low income consumers from the unfair burden of high energy bills, and enables stakeholders to come together to plan for just transition from coal to high tech renewable energy. If political leadership ever allows state agencies to construct a real state-based plan for Texas, we welcome the opportunity to work with them.

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