Clean Power Plan Statement
As You Sow’s Statement on Clean Power Plan Rollback: Andrew Behar, CEO of As You Sow: The following statement is in response to this week’s announcement by EPA Director Scott Pruitt to roll back the Clean Power Plan.
The Trump administration’s announcement to end the Clean Power Plan increases risk to investors now and into the future. Fossil-fired utilities are the source of one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. is already paying a high public health and economic price from climate change, including heat waves, droughts, wildfires, super-storms, and growing numbers of global refugees impacted by rising seas and famine. The harms of climate change will only grow, hampering economic growth and harming communities.
Many investors are well aware of this risk. Most hold shares across a wide spectrum of economic sectors, so changes associated with a warming climate will have broad, negative portfolio implications. Investors have been actively engaged with companies to ensure they are addressing this growing climate risk and, at the same time, encouraging the broader market to account for climate risk in ratings and investment choices. The administration’s goal of moving utilities backward thwarts the progress utilities have made in addressing climate risk.
Utilities are now already on a path to curbing air pollution and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Shareholders support these actions. The Trump administration’s roll-back not only stops that progress, but will not save coal jobs. Coal can no longer compete effectively against renewable energy in a growing number of markets as the costs of renewable energy continues to decline. Utilities are moving away from coal not only because renewables are becoming cheaper, but because large businesses and consumers are demanding clean energy. Rather than subsidizing the coal industry by rolling back climate and air pollution protections, the administration should instead focus on supporting the growth of clean energy jobs and technology, and ensuring efficient, clean, and least cost power.
This administration’s willingness to ignore science and sacrifice an important and effective carbon reduction plan for the illusion of preserving coal jobs is disastrous. If we do not act quickly to cut the carbon pollution fueling climate change, we will experience stronger storms and more wildfires like those currently ravaging our communities, wreaking harm, and reducing our ability to get business done.
The EPA Clean Power Plan advances public health and benefits U.S consumers. Instead of moving backwards, this administration should be leading the charge to drive innovation, unleash investment in a clean energy future, and bolster international efforts to curb climate change. We must all join forces to defend the Clean Power Plan and challenge this irrational decision. The future is here, and it is not coal.