Leahy Hails President’s Clean Power Plan

[Vermont U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday praised President Obama for taking the most significant step yet to reduce U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases in order to address the causes of climate change.  The Clean Power Plan sets the first-ever carbon pollution standards for power plants, requiring each state to create its own plan for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 32 percent from 2005 levels, by 2030.   Power plants are the nation’s largest stationary source of green-house gases.  Leahy noted that the Clean Power Plan will put the United States at the forefront of addressing the causes of global climate change and will further propel the United States into a leading role in developing clean power industries.  Below are Leahy’s comments:] 

“I commend the President for his strong leadership in addressing the causes of climate change, a problem that so many other elected officials here and around the world are happy to just ignore or deny.  He has finalized clean air rules that the Clean Air Act requires and that the Supreme Court has upheld. 

“In the past the true costs of carbon pollution have been hidden and passed along to everyone else.  With no effective accountability, there has been little incentive and too little effort to improve public health or to minimize the contributions to climate change.  It is the proper role of government, acting for all the people of the nation, to set overall rules so we can see hidden costs and deal with them.   By setting clear rules, we can begin meeting these goals that indisputably will benefit all Americans, and spark our emerging clean-energy economy.  Clear rules send marketplace signals that will unleash the vigor and creativity of American entrepreneurship and investment.  Clear rules are the lynchpin to building a vigorous green economy that will create new American jobs, with born-in-America solutions, that can lead the world marketplace.

“The naysayers and the science deniers cannot or will not see the obvious.  We need to open the door to a cleaner, growing economy.  Our dependence on yesterday’s dirty power sources has been costing us too much in air quality and climate-related public health problems, extreme weather disasters, water pollution, and other harms.   The Clean Power Plan provides an achievable, commonsense solution that will help build our economy, while contributing many other benefits, such as further reducing the mercury contamination of our waters and asthma-causing soot emissions.”

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