By Grace McRae, Sierra Club
The Trump administration’s decision to dismantle the Clean Power Plan is as wrong as it is unpopular.
Earlier today, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt officially announced that he will sign an order to gut the Clean Power Plan (CPP) tomorrow, October 10. As the first-ever national limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants, the Clean Power Plan protects the health of families and communities by curbing dangerous carbon pollution and reducing other toxic pollutants like mercury, smog, and sulfur dioxide.
Poll after poll has found strong and widespread public support for the Clean Power Plan because it would protect our air, water, and health. In fact, nearly half of Trump voters (48%) support limiting carbon pollution from existing coal-fired power plants to “reduce global warming and improve public health.” And despite the very vocal denial of Trump himself, nearly half of his supporters (49%) say global warming is happening. In a poll conducted earlier this year by Yale and George Mason University, nearly seven in ten U.S. voters (69%) said they support putting “strict limits on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants” — the heart of the Clean Power Plan. This includes 90% of Democrats, 67% of independents, and 46% of Republicans. And, according to the Yale Climate Opinion Maps, majority support can be found in every single state across the country.
The Clean Power Plan would, by 2030, prevent 90,000 asthma attacks and up to 3,600 premature deaths annually. Not only are Americans in support of such a powerful measure, but a survey by Hart Research in December found that two-thirds of Americans who voted in the 2016 presidential elections (65%) said that they would oppose any effort by the Trump administration to take away the EPA’s ability to set limits on carbon pollution from power plants. This included strong majorities of Clinton voters and nearly half of Trump voters (47%).
While Trump, Scott Pruitt, and the rest of this administration continue to to protect and promote the fossil fuel industry and corporate polluters, state and local governments are taking the lead on climate action and moving forward with job-creating clean energy. From Salt Lake City, Utah to Georgetown, Texas, cities are committing to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2030. Entire states, such as New York and Oregon, have already put themselves on the path to completely phase-out coal-fired power plants in favor of cleaner sources of energy. These states and cities understand that our growing clean energy economy is the best path to create good-paying jobs while safeguarding our air, water, and climate.
As Trump and his administration attack the historic Clean Power Plan, they should know that they are out-of-step with most Americans. People across the partisan spectrum understand that dismantling the Clean Power Plan would help corporate polluters rake in billions at the expense of the health of our families and climate.