Earlier this week, in Washington, D.C., at the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) headquarters, BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director Kim Glas spoke about what we can do to make sure EPA’s Clean Power Plan—which proposes the first-ever limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants—benefits the economy and the environment.
In her testimony, Glas emphasized that the Clean Power Plan is a significant step forward in tackling the root causes of climate change. In addition, she urged that engaging America’s workers throughout the process is key to well-crafted state plans that will protect existing jobs; reduce emissions; grow new, family-sustaining jobs in clean energy and energy efficiency; and encourage investments to jumpstart new technologies.
Diverse groups participated in the hearings, including some of BlueGreen Alliance’s partners. Here’s what a few of them had to say:
Michael Langford, Utility Workers Union of America
Utility Workers Union of America National President Langford urged regulators to adopt a final rule that will “encourage the states to embrace in their State Implementation Plans concrete support for new technologies that will protect existing jobs while reducing emissions.” He also said, “We believe this can be done while also substantially reducing carbon emissions, if we combine sensible regulatory policies with a sound plan to assist affected workers and communities in the transition.”
Dean Hubbard, Sierra Club
Dean Hubbard, the Labor Director for the Sierra Club, said, “We should use the next two years to come together, talk through our differences, and find common ground to get this done in the best way possible. That’s because the Clean Power Plan is not about ‘jobs vs. the environment.’ It gives us a chance to work together to create good jobs in healthy communities on a living planet, as we protect workers and communities affected by America’s transition to clean energy.”
Collin O’Mara, National Wildlife Federation
National Wildlife Federation President & CEO Collin O’Mara described the Clean Power Plan as a “uniquely American solution in that it establishes clear common-sense standards, while providing states with significant flexibility and the tools to achieve the standards in the way that makes most sense for each state.” He went on to say, “It builds upon the effective work already taking place in states across the nation. It allows for regional collaboration, which time and again has proven effective at addressing pollution challenges that transcend state boundaries. It is clear that EPA listened closely to the states and stakeholders in developing the Plan.”
Attention now turns to Pittsburgh where BlueGreen Alliance staff Lee Geisse and Khari Mosley and Executive Director Kim Glas also be testifying. They’ll urge state and local leaders in Ohio and Pennsylvania to take the lead to come up with a unique state implementation plan that will work best with the existing energy portfolio of each state.
Check back at www.bluegreenalliance.org for their testimony.