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Subcommittee Democrats Emphasize Benefits of Clean Power Plan

May 26, 2016
Press Release

(Washington, DC) – Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Environment held a hearing to further examine the legality and effectiveness of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. This is the fifth hearing called by the Majority within the past twelve months to criticize the Clean Power Plan.

Ranking Member of the Environment Subcommittee, Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), said in her opening statement, “The Clean Power Plan builds on the efforts of states like Oregon by creating a unified, national approach to our biggest environmental challenge. The Clean Power Plan represents an opportunity for American ingenuity that will allow us to from benefit from the much needed transition to a low carbon economy.

“More than 150 companies have signed the American Business Act on Climate Pledge to demonstrate their support for action and a low-carbon sustainable future. We ought to listen.”

Democratic Members and witnesses discussed the implementation and importance of the Clean Power Plan to achieve the necessary reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that impact our climate and affect public health. Ms. Brianne Gorod, the Democratic Witness, and Chief Counsel of the Constitutional Accountability Center, restated that under the Clean Power Plan the states are empowered to develop regulatory policies that make sense for their citizens, and take into consideration their unique energy requirements, in order to achieve emissions reductions. She also articulated the reasons why EPA’s continued actions to implement the Clean Power Plan are lawful, consistent with the intent of Congress, and not prohibited by the recent stay issued by the Supreme Court.

Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) said in her statement for the record, “Implementing the EPA’s Clean Power Plan will help protect the environment, enhance the public’s health and save lives. Power plants account for roughly one-third of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and the Clean Power Plan will cut those emissions considerably. A plan which will improve public health, save billions of dollars in health care-related costs, reduce premature deaths, asthma attacks, missed school and work days, and will address the global threat of climate change is not just good policy, it is common sense.”

Ms. Gorod said in her testimony that the Clean Power Plan is “a textbook example of the types of cooperative federalism programs frequently adopted by Congress and federal agencies and repeatedly approved by the Supreme Court.” She continued, “The Clean Power Plan is not only entirely lawful, it is also essential to protecting the public health and welfare of the nation and its citizens and will produce significant environmental, public health, and economic benefits.”

Witnesses:

The Honorable E. Scott Pruitt, Attorney General, State of Oklahoma

Ms. Brianne Gorod, Chief Counsel, Constitutional Accountability Center

The Honorable Charles McConnell, Executive Director, Energy and Environment Initiative, Rice University

114th Congress