West Coast states, cities, challenge Trump on climate policies

Leaders vow to fight effort to roll back Clean Power Plan

Mercury, heat-trapping greenhouse gases and other pollutants from the Craig Station power plant in northwest Colorado have global impacts. @bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

The Trump administration will reportedly soon unveil an executive order to try and undo climate policies developed under Obama, but West Coast states say they have intention of going along with that half-baked proposal.

Late last week, the governors of Washington, Oregon and California and the mayors of Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles issued a strong statement in support of Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which is aimed at reducing emissions from power plants and protecting air quality. The statement suggests that Trump will face a fierce battle over his proposals to try and roll back climate regulations.

The statement:

“We speak in unified opposition to the idea of any decision by the President to limit our region’s economic opportunities or our commitment to doing what’s right to make our cities and states cleaner and healthier for future generations.  

“We speak as a region of over 50 million people with a combined GDP of $2.8 trillion. There is no question that to act on climate is to act in our best economic interests. Through expanded climate policies, we have grown jobs and expanded our economies while cleaning our air.

“Any attacks on the Clean Power Plan would move our nation in the wrong direction and put American prosperity at risk. We will assert our own 21st century leadership and chart a different course. Climate change is one of our greatest threats, from more wildfires threatening our homes and communities to ocean acidification rocking our shellfish industry to drought hurting our farmers. Too much is at stake – from our health and safety to our jobs and livelihoods – for us to move backwards.

“We will honor our commitments to our communities to do what’s right to keep our residents safe, secure, healthy and prosperous as we accelerate our clean energy economy and put the interest of our people before those of big polluters. We will continue to invest in clean energy that creates local jobs and keeps utility bills low, and we will electrify transportation to provide convenient, safe, and affordable ways to get around our cities, and make our neighborhoods healthy and vibrant.

“Our cities and states will continue to assert our leadership and position our region for economic success. We urge states, cities and businesses from across the country to join us in leading and re-affirming our commitment to cut carbon emissions and reverse the damaging impacts to our communities of unfettered pollution.”

Jointly signed on March 22, 2017 by:

California Governor Jerry Brown

Oregon Governor Kate Brown

Washington Governor Jay Inslee

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

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