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November 30, 2015

Local And State Lawmakers From 32 States Weigh In Against EPA Clean Power Plan

Early last week, 538 local and state Democratic lawmakers from 32 states sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to reconsider some of his administration’s environmental regulations. The officials said they share the president’s concern about climate change, but disagree with his approach for addressing it. The letter said, “As Democrats committed to a prosperous America and a healthy environment, we believe the United States has a unique opportunity to lead the world in addressing the global climate challenge, and yet do so, as we must, without unduly burdening the American economy or the American people.” 

The lawmakers said global climate change solutions must be strong and realistic enough to generate support at home in the United States and to encourage the international community to follow suit and argued that the Obama administration’s plan reflects neither of these goals. The letter suggested the Obama administration concentrate on developing an energy policy that recognizes the importance of all sources of energy, from clean coal to renewable energy sources, and on promoting efficiency and conservation. The letter argued, “Energy affordability and reliability have helped lead our nation to the heights of economic prosperity, social well-being, and environmental progress, and both are of critical importance to families and businesses in every corner of America. Maintaining access to affordable and reliable electricity – domestically and globally – are essential prerequisites to any serious or realistic effort to address the climate challenge.” 

The lawmakers explained the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan threatens the reliability of the U.S. electricity grid and will raise consumer costs – both of which will undermine the administration’s plan to effectively address climate change. The officials also noted they were not sending their letter on behalf of any industry, but instead had sent it “on behalf of the American people we represent in elective office and as leaders within the Democratic Party.” 

The full letter, along with the names of the officials who signed it, is available here.