Madison, WI — President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday undermining years of bipartisan progress aimed at protecting future generations from the most devastating impacts of climate change. Trump’s latest executive order marks the beginning of fossil fuel industry-backed efforts to rescind the federal Clean Power Plan — a common-sense blueprint for cutting carbon pollution from the largest fossil-fuel burning power plants.
Trump’s executive order rescinds at least six executive orders issued by President Barack Obama that address climate change. One of those orders dealt with national security, and another laid out Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which paved the way for the Clean Power Plan.
“President Trump is putting the financial interests of his fossil fuel industry cronies ahead of our children’s health and safety—no one is surprised, everyone is appalled,” said Keith Reopelle, policy director for Clean Wisconsin. “The Clean Power Plan is a common-sense standard on carbon pollution that gives states and the utility industry tremendous flexibility to cut carbon pollution at the lowest cost possible.”
Trump’s action on Tuesday will also roll back a number of other climate actions including Obma’s Climate Action Plan, which includes the Clean Power Plan.
When the Environmental Protection Agency adopted the Clean Power Plan in 2015, the agency estimated the pollution standards would save lives and increase American productivity by avoiding 3,600 premature deaths, 90,000 asthma attacks in children, and 300,000 missed work and school days by 2030.
“Climate change threatens public health in Wisconsin, particularly for children and seniors, but it also threatens some of our more important and iconic industries, including agriculture and tourism,” Reopelle said.
Today’s action by Trump flies in the face of numerous federal court rulings. On three separate occasions the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed EPA’s duty to protect Americans from carbon pollution.
The Clean Power Plan is a federal standard aimed at combating carbon pollution from electric generation. The Clean Power Plan works to significantly reduce carbon emissions from existing fossil fuel plants while maintaining stable energy costs for consumers. The Clean Power Plan’s flexible and fair standards encourage existing energy production to be more efficient and set a course for development of low- and zero-emission energy sources.
“Trump’s action is out of step with the courts, out of step with Americans, and out of step with the rest of the world which is moving ahead on efforts to reduce carbon pollution,” Reopelle said. “It’s just one more way in which Trump is threatening our national security.”