SEEC Statement on Trump’s Dirty Energy Executive Order

Mar 28, 2017 Issues: Climate Change, Energy, Environment, Water
SEEC Statement on Trump’s Dirty Energy Executive Order


Washington D.C. ­– Today, President Trump will sign an Executive Order to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and undo other elements of the U.S. Climate Action Plan. The Clean Power Plan was created under the Obama Administration to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector by 32 percent by 2030, safeguard public health by reducing hazardous air pollutants, and help achieve climate goals under the Paris Climate Agreement. SEEC members released the following statement:

“We stand with millions of Americans in opposing President Trump’s Dirty Energy Executive Order, and to demand that he end his attacks on clean air, clean water, and the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency has an obligation to address carbon pollution. The Clean Power Plan provides a fair, flexible, and achievable strategy which empowers states to clean-up power plants through a combination of efficiency improvements and clean energy deployments.

“Cities, states, and businesses across the country have recognized the economic and environmental benefits of improving energy efficiency and investing in low-cost clean energy. The Clean Power Plan ensures a reliable and affordable energy system in support of these ongoing efforts.

“President Trump appointed one of the most polluter friendly cabinets in history. He has moved aggressively to limit our country’s ability to safeguard clean air, clean water, public health, and the environment. In his recent address to Congress President Trump claimed he wanted to, ‘promote clean air and clean water,’ but action speaks louder than words, Mr. President.

“Today’s Executive Order makes it abundantly clear–the policy of the Trump Administration will be to reject the overwhelming scientific evidence and economic benefits supporting climate action, with President Trump leading the charge as the ‘Polluter-in-Chief.’

“We need federal energy and clean air policies that are based on science, support innovation, and encourage cleaner, more efficient power systems. This Executive Order abandons a tremendous opportunity to develop a cleaner, more competitive economy, build more resilient infrastructure, and create more sustainable jobs for Americans. If we continue to ignore the threats posed by climate change, we risk serious damage to our national and economic security, our international reputation, and the health and safety of our children, grandchildren, and all future generations.”

Additional SEEC Member Statements

SEEC Co-Chair Rep. Gerry Connolly (VA-11): "Draconian cuts to the EPA, assaults on basic science and climate research, and now rescinding the Clean Power Plan will not "Make America Great Again" or make climate change disappear. The Obama Administration made incredible progress in building international support for the Paris Climate Agreement. The Clean Power Plan is critical to meeting our commitment to reduce carbon emissions. Rather than retreat on investments that are paying off, the U.S. should lead in developing a 21st century clean energy economy and set the global standard for reducing carbon emissions."

SEEC Co-Chair Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-06): "The Trump Administration just released another executive order, this time to reverse our progress on climate change. This will be devastating to the health and economic security of Americans. The Clean Power Plan has been a critical component of our global leadership to curb carbon pollution. In California, we’re already seeing the environmental and economic benefits of these types of clean energy investments. This executive order disregards the urgent need to protect all Americans from the severe impact of our changing climate.”

SEEC Vice-Chair Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME-01): “President Trump is wrong in thinking that damaging our environment will help advance our economy. His executive order will fuel the climate change that is a financial drain on Maine communities and industries. It will lead to billions of dollars in public health costs for things like asthma and heart attacks—which Maine will disproportionately see because we breathe air that comes pre-polluted from other states.  And by favoring dirty fossil fuels, he’s turning his back on growing a clean, sustainable energy economy that already employees 3 million people across the country. For years, politicians put aside the well-documented dangers of smoking to the American public because they were pandering to the tobacco industry.  The effects on the country were disastrous. President Trump is doing the exact same thing here, ignoring the facts about pollutants, climate change, and their impacts on the American public so he can cater to a misguided political agenda."

SEEC Vice-Chair Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-05): "President Donald Trump’s executive order promoting dirty, polluting energy sources will cost American jobs and risk countless lives here at home and around the globe. Unfortunately, the President seems to be buying in to the outdated and obsolete view that economic growth is in conflict with responsible resource management. It is not. In fact, we now understand that sustainable growth is only possible if it is also environmentally responsible. The facts are clear. Clean, renewable energy is a local economic driver and job creator while the coal industry has spent decades in decline. President Trump has now signaled his willingness to promote the desires of a few members of his political base above the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans. By dismantling the Clean Power Plan and pushing dirty fuels, the President will encourage more frequent and more severe climate impacts and greater levels of air pollutants known to cause asthma, heart disease, and cancer. We cannot afford to go backwards on climate change and environmental protection. We owe it to our children and to future generations to leave them with an environment composed of clean water, clean air, and clean land. The President’s actions today sell our environment down the river in order to score political points. The American people agree that on the issue of climate change, government can and must do better.”

SEEC Vice-Chair Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) & SEEC Member Rep. Don Beyer (VA-08) Joint Statement: "We all want our world to be a safe, healthy place to raise our families and grow our economy.  Unfortunately, the President’s action today slows down the progress we’ve been making and puts U.S. leadership on climate in question,” said Rep. Alan Lowenthal.  “This executive order only kicks the climate change can further down the road, forcing future generations to suffer and deal with it. With a stroke of his pen, President Trump has pushed the collective head of the U.S. government further into the sand on climate change. President Trump’s executive orders represent a multi-pronged retreat from American global leadership on the existential threat of our time: climate change,” said Rep. Don Beyer. “His failure to understand basic economics – that coal jobs were hurt by natural gas and automation – in favor of campaign rhetoric is shocking. President Trump could have acted to take our country, our economy, and our environment forward. But rather he chose to vacate U.S. leadership in the fight to address global carbon pollution.”

SEEC Energy Task Force Chair Rep. Jim Langevin (RI-02): “President Trump’s short-sighted executive order to begin repealing the Clean Power Plan is an assault to the health of the public and the planet.  The Clean Power Plan is an important blueprint to reduce the amount of emissions pouring into our atmosphere that pose significant long-term negative public health effects and will cause irreversible environmental damage. Building on the legacy of the Clean Air Act, this plan is helping us address this ongoing existential crisis for our planet, and reversing direction now will only worsen the effects of climate change. The Executive Order also risks jeopardizing the significant gains made by the Obama Administration in negotiating the Paris Agreement to reduce climate damage on a global scale.”

SEEC Climate Task Force Chair Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52): "President Trump’s executive order takes America’s energy economy backwards at a time when we should be seizing the opportunity that clean energy represents. President Trump is mistaken in believing that he can bring back the energy sector jobs that have been lost as the market moves towards a clean energy economy. Rolling back the Clean Power Plan will only rob us of the renewable energy jobs of the future and the prospect of cleaner air, cleaner water, and an economy that is more competitive in the global marketplace. I oppose this misguided executive order, and will continue working to build a consensus in Congress for bold goals to reduce harmful emissions. The military, the private sector, and the scientific community are all in agreement that carbon emissions cost us in the long run. The social cost of carbon was a pragmatic tool that allowed the federal government to plan for the future. President Trump has made it harder for communities to know how federal rules and projects could effect public health and sustainability.”

SEEC Member Rep. Niki Tsongas (MA-03): "Climate change is a very real crisis that, if left untouched, will cause irreparable harm to current and future generations. But America has the wherewithal to make a difference. The renewable energy technologies to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency exist. Societal will and desire to go green have been demonstrated. And, we have the best minds and talent in the world working to address this challenge. President Obama’s Clean Power Plan was a critical step in this effort, calling for a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from our nation’s single largest source, power plants. It gives states the flexibility to reduce carbon pollution with strategies that work best in their state while cutting emissions, increasing the use of renewable energy and encouraging innovative green technologies. The Clean Power Plan benefits both our environmental and economic future. But President Trump is once again demonstrating his reckless crusade against fact-based science, by signing an executive order that prevents our country from taking necessary steps to safeguard our future. President Trump’s executive order discounts overwhelming scientific and global consensus and undermines American leadership. He is not only out of touch with science and society, but he is ignoring this threat’s generational and global impact.”

SEEC Member Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ-03): "The American people want action on climate change, but the president claims it’s a Chinese hoax and his budget director has announced that responding to climate change is a waste of money. Restarting sales of subsidized federal coal won’t change the fact that natural gas is cheaper and cleaner. Failing to act on climate change, or plan for its inevitable impacts, is going to cost our grandchildren hundreds of billions of dollars, if not far more, down the road. Much of what the Trump administration has said about health care, or Russia, or wiretapping is just not true, and their talking points about our climate are just as misleading and even more irresponsible. We are going to learn the hard way that trashing the environment, kicking scientists out of the building and hanging a ‘For Sale’ sign on every public resource in sight will hurt the economy and the planet.”

SEEC Member Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-02): "Future generations will pay the price of President Trump’s costly Executive Order, which fulfils a fossil fuel industry wish list at the expense of clean energy jobs and public health,” said Rep. Huffman. “The President’s radical actions today reaffirm yet again he will do anything to line the pockets of our country’s biggest polluters, regardless of the impacts to America’s public health, the economy, and the environment. This is just the latest example of President Trump saying one thing and doing the opposite: last month he told Congress that he planned to ‘promote clean air and water,’ but – as we suspected – today we learn he was just blowing hot air. Today’s Executive Order is just the first salvo in a battle that will last as long as President Trump and his cabinet of polluters are in office. Now we must meet this assault on the environment, taxpayers, and public health head-on. Remember that it was on his first day in office that President Trump signed a health care Executive Order that he declared would be the beginning of the end of the Affordable Care Act. Yet two months later, after unprecedented pushback from the American public, that effort failed conclusively. We will not go back to the days before clean energy and pollution controls, and I know that we can defend against today’s pro-pollution Executive Order with the same level of effort that greeted health care repeal.”

SEEC Member Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02): “The decision by President Trump to dismantle the Clean Power Plan is disappointing but not surprising. It’s a move that not only undermines our ability to fight climate change but also puts the United States at an economic disadvantage as we cede the technologies of the future to other nations. This executive order will endanger the Paris Climate Agreement which was instrumental in getting some of the world’s largest polluters to take important steps to reduce their carbon emissions. New Hampshire has been a leader in addressing greenhouse gas emissions through our participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. It’s long past time the rest of the nation followed the lead of New England. If we fail to act on climate change we’re only kicking the can down the road. We should be acting now to end climate change, not leaving future generations to clean up our mess.”

SEEC Member Rep. Red Lieu (CA-33): "Unlike the 69 percent of the Americans who support limits on coal power plants, President Trump doesn’t understand or doesn’t care that we need to act on climate now. Today’s executive order will not bring back jobs nor will it make us more energy secure. What it will do is increase pollution, threaten public health, and risk the ruin of some our most treasured public lands. Climate change is the most pressing issue of our time – one that we cannot wait to address – and the United States cannot afford to cede its leadership in addressing it. Even if President Trump wants to move us backwards, I will continue to fight in Congress for climate action and stand firmly behind California and other states who understand the importance of clean energy and environmental protections.”

SEEC Member Rep. John Sarbanes (MD-03): "It’s been clear for some time now – based on his campaign statements and on his cabinet appointments – that the president is completely impervious to the scientific evidence on climate change. But today’s executive orders are the clearest example yet that President Trump will do whatever he can to put the agenda of special-interest polluters ahead of responsible public health and environmental policies. The president and his fellow climate change deniers turn a blind eye to the realities faced by millions of Americans and people around the world who are already experiencing the real-life impacts of climate change. They are recklessly endangering the livelihood of future generations, making our nation and our planet less safe. Even in the face of President Trump’s dangerous, fact-free Administration, I will continue fighting for environmental and economic policies that are rooted in science and promote the public good.”