Clean Power Plan delay could harm Maine’s health and economy
Yesterday, after a legal challenge brought by the fossil fuel industry, the Supreme Court issued a temporary stay on the Clean Power Plan (CPP) advanced by President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency. Halting the implementation of these first-ever limits on carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants is a decision that could disproportionately affect Maine.
“While we are disappointed by their decision to stay the rule, we are certain that the Clean Power Plan rests on a firm legal footing and will be implemented in states across the country,” said George Goehl, executive director of National People’s Action, an organization that has brought attention to the human costs of climate change. “National People’s Action and our members across the country will continue to push elected officials to advance policies and investments that put people and the planet first, not dirty energy companies. As we transition to clean energy, we must ensure that we create economic opportunity for communities of color and low-income communities.”
Maine is particularly vulnerable to the fossil fuel-based power plants in the Midwest that the CPP is designed to regulate. Due to prevailing weather patterns, many of those emissions end up polluting Maine air. Because of this confluence, Maine has one of the highest rates of asthma in the country.
“There is simply no question that the Clean Power Plan will have a tremendous impact on the health of Maine children and adults for generations to come,” Dr. Marguerite Pennoyer, of the American Lung Association told MaineBiz in August. “Reducing carbon pollution may be the single best thing we can do in our efforts to lessen the health impacts of climate change.”
Clean energy is also a vital part of Maine’s economic future. A recent study found that energy efficiency initiatives have already contributed $215 million to Maine’s economy over the last six years, mostly through lower energy costs.
“Make no mistake about it, this legal challenge is a desperate attempt by the titans of the dirty energy economy to hold ground as our nation shifts towards clean energy,” said Goehl. “A delay in the rule does not mean a delay in the climate crisis nor will it delay everyday people from taking action to advance a clean energy economy.”
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