House delays critical climate action
WASHINGTON, D.C. – By a vote of 247-180, the House of Representatives passed Rep. Ed Whitfield’s (R-Ky.) bill H.R. 2042, which would delay implementation of the Clean Power Plan until the courts have resolved all legal challenges to the rule. The bill would also allow states to opt out of submitting a State Implementation Plan if they find it would have significantly adverse effects on electricity rates or reliability. The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan would reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants 30 percent below 2005 levels, by 2030. The plan is an important piece of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, as electric power generation contributes nearly 40 percent of domestic greenhouse gas emissions.
Due to the lengthy nature of potential lawsuits, Whitfield’s bill would likely delay implementation of the rule until 2022 or later–after states should have submitted their implementation plans. This would likely result in states missing the rule’s intermediate, and ultimate 2030, reduction targets.
Friends of the Earth Climate and Energy Campaigner Kate DeAngelis offers the following statement in response:
This bill is just one more in the long string of attacks on our bedrock environmental laws that have come from the John Boehner House. Science dictates that we must take immediate climate action. Representative Whitfield should stop wasting precious time and allow the Environmental Protection Agency to do its job protecting public health and the environment.