Today the Obama administration is expected to formally adopt the Clean Power Plan with targeted reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants of 32 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.
If readers care about mitigating the causes of global warming and ceasing the practice of dumping more than 110 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each day as if it were an open sewer, this is it.
This is the majority of the United States plan to reduce emissions at the 21st United Nations Conference of the Parties in Paris (COP21) this December. It’s what we plan, as a nation, to do about climate change.
Today’s adoption of the Clean Power Plan is expected to be greeted with derision, litigation, delay, obfuscation, contempt, denial and politically correct, but meaningless statements.
They range from this:
“Starbucks signed the Ceres letter supporting the EPA Clean Power Plan.”
“We don’t have a position on the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan, and Target does not support the US Chamber’s position.”
“Cargill is part of Risky Business to lead a dialogue across the philosophical spectrum about the long-term impact that climate change could have on the ability to produce food and the ways that agriculture can adapt to ensure global food security. We believe progress can best be made by engaging with groups and discussing our point of view. In fact, Greg Page, former CEO of Cargill, briefed Tom Donahue, president and CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce, this summer about the Risky Business project and its findings. We also spoke with the Farm Bureau about the Risky Business report and asked their advice about how to effectively engage farmers on the climate change issue.”
“Caterpillar filed comments with EPA opposing the coal-plant rules. The company said: ‘Caterpillar strongly urges EPA to withdraw the Proposed Rule in order to (1) reevaluate the agency’s legal authority to establish requirements on both the entire electric sector and end-users of electricity; (2) conduct a more full and realistic estimate of the economic impacts of its proposed rule; (3) consider changes that avoid the adverse impacts outlined in these comments; and (4) provide guidance to states so that they have the tools necessary to minimize adverse impacts as they construct compliance plans.’ In its sustainability report, Caterpillar says: ‘We support intelligent, responsible public policies addressing climate and energy issues.’”
Gov. Terry Branstad has been critical of the proposed clean power rule, saying it will push energy costs higher and “hurt Iowa consumers and cost Iowans jobs,” according to the Des Moines Register.
If everyday Iowans don’t support the Clean Power Plan, then what? Doing nothing is not an option when it comes to mitigating the causes of climate change, and the Clean Power Plan is something.
There are few better options to take climate action than supporting the Clean Power Plan. Letting government officials know of your support is part of the picture, but what matters more is making the discussion part of everyday life. We may be accused of being “political” in our social circles, and that may be better than suffering the consequences of inaction, now and going forward. The Clean Power Plan is a solution worthy of our support. As the administration adopts it today, so should we.