Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52), member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and Chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition’s Climate Task Force, came out in strong opposition to President Trump’s executive actions to make America’s air dirty again and move America’s energy economy backwards. President Trump ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to begin the process of rolling back its Clean Power Plan, which was set in motion last year to reduce harmful carbon pollution from America’s power plants 32% by the year 2030. The Clean Power Plan is the first attempt to lower harmful emissions from power plants – the largest source of carbon pollution in the country – and provides flexible pathways for states to move towards more sustainable energy production.
“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.” said Rep. Scott Peters. “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.”
Rep. Peters wrote an op-ed in The Hill last year in support of a national objective to get 50% of America’s electricity from carbon-free sources by 2030, and has been supportive of the City of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan that aims for 100% renewable energy by the year 2035.
President Trump’s executive order also eliminates guidance for federal agencies to use the social cost of carbon in their rulemaking and permitting processes. The social cost of carbon is the monetary estimate of how much small-increases in carbon dioxide emissions would harm the economy. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that damage can come in a decline in net agricultural productivity, human health, and property damages from increased flood risk. Scientists estimate that for each ton of carbon dioxide emitted the economic damage could be worth as much as $220 per ton.
Rep. Peters continued, “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.”