WASHINGTON – U. S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today issued the following statement on the final Clean Power Plan announced by the White House and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“Strong-but-flexible-and-fair carbon pollution standards for power plants are needed and welcome news for America’s global economic competitiveness, public health and clean energy future. This is a commonsense, state-driven approach to reduce the U.S. carbon pollution that is changing the Earth’s climate and linked to increased incidence of extreme weather, sea level rise, and declines in fish and wildlife species. For years we have had power plant standards that protect our communities from air pollutants like lead and mercury. The EPA’s efforts set similar standards for the carbon pollution that is fueling climate change, the biggest threat to life on Earth as we know it.
“The bold goals set by the Obama Administration today give states the tools they need to cut pollution, support consumers and grow our economy. Already, hundreds of major businesses have come out in support of the Clean Power Plan because energy efficiency and addressing climate change are good for business. These rules ensure that the U.S. will continue to expand the growth of good-paying domestic clean energy jobs to help mitigate the causes of climate change, increase energy efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint. Where leadership is willing, we have been making strides to green our infrastructure, as well as to restore and integrate natural defenses against sea level rise and more frequent extreme weather. In Maryland, where 70 percent of Marylanders live in coastal zones, we have some of the strongest air pollution standards in the country. Current and new standards contribute to healthier communities and new jobs from a growing economy. The U.S. must continue to lead by example. Pollution, storms and droughts do not abide by state or international borders.
“Science tells us climate change is real. It is a threat to our environment, but also an economic issue, public health issue and a national security issue. The good news is that the solutions to each of these challenges are intertwined. The notion that we must choose between economic growth and environmental protection is just plain wrong. The Clean Power Plan federal standards are important not only in the fight against climate change, but also in our push toward a healthier Chesapeake Bay that fuels our regional economy.”