Kathy Castor says Trump power plant rule is a new form of climate denial

A Ga. coal plant which serves Jacksonville. (JEA Photo)
A Ga. coal plant which serves Jacksonville. (JEA Photo)

The Trump administration finalized its rollback of President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan on Wednesday, and a Florida Congresswoman called it “a new form of climate denial.”

The historic Clean Power Plan would have ushered in a shift for power companies to switch from coal-fired plants to clean, renewable energy sources  like solar and wind.

The Trump administration intends to replace the Clean Power Plan with its own Affordable Clean Energy rule, or ACE, which requires businesses to cut  their  2030 carbon emissions 35 percent over 2005 levels. However, some of the country’s biggest power companies, including Duke Energy, have vowed to cut emissions 40 percent in that same timeline.

Florida is one of 28 states that challenged the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan rule in 2015.

“Donald Trump isn’t just rejecting the science,” said Democratic U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor in a written statement. “He’s rejecting the people and places that are already suffering from the climate crisis and turning a blind eye to rising costs and health impacts.”

“This rule represents a new form of climate denial,” she said.

Castor chairs the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. The Tampa Congresswoman said that while the federal government isn’t taking enough action to reduce carbon emissions, more state and local governments are taking the steps to adapt to the dangers of climate change. But, she cautioned, the science has only grown “more dire” since President Obama announced the plan four years ago.

“Under Trump, carbon pollution is on the rise again,” she said. “We can’t afford to lose another four years to delay, denial and destruction.”

In announcing that Florida was suing over the Obama plan in 2015, then-Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said the EPA rule laid out an “unrealistic” time frame to cut carbon emissions by 2030 and would “require the use of costly and unproven technologies.”

The U.S. Supreme Court stayed the rule in 2016, but did not rule on the merits of the case, which is still pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the Washington Post reports.

“We’re going to do everything we can in Congress to hold this administration accountable,” Castor said, “whether it’s stopping this rollback, saving fuel economy standards, or staying the Paris Climate Agreement. And we’re going to fight even harder to pass climate policies that work for the people, not polluters.”

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