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Two Years Ago Today, Obama Announced This Ground-Breaking Climate Action Plan
The Clean Power Plan aimed to establish the first-ever set of national carbon limits on power plants, our biggest source of the pollution.
This ground-breaking move planned to reduce carbon pollution 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. That would save lives and money—look at the estimates the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave at the time:
- The Clean Power Plan would prevent almost 3,600 premature deaths, an almost 90 percent reduction in deaths from power plant pollution in 2030.
- The Clean Power Plan would result in 90,000 fewer asthma attacks in kids, preventing 300,000 missed school and work days.
- The Clean Power Plan would save consumers nearly $85 each year on electricity bills in 2030.
- The Clean Power Plan would save consumers a total of $155 billion from 2020 to 2030.
What's more—these savings would come because of a tremendous investment in clean energy by states. The Clean Power Plan created a great opportunity for states to chart a course to renewable energy instead of the same dirty, outdated, and dangerous fossil fuels.
Yet now, here we are in 2017, under Donald Trump and his EPA head Scott Pruitt—two people who think fossil fuels are the future. They're trying to scrap the Clean Power Plan in favor of plans to line the pockets of their polluter friends. That's in spite of strong public support for taking action—just this week, a new national survey by the Yale Center for Climate Communications found that 69 percent of all registered voters support strong carbon standards for coal-fired power plants.
Utilities aren't listening to Trump, either. A recent Reuters survey of 32 power providers operating in the states that sued to block the Clean Power Plan found that all of them plan to continue moving away from coal and toward renewable energy, regardless of Trump's policy agenda or his designs on the Clean Power Plan.
Trump and Pruitt are putting polluter profits before clean air, clean water and public health. The Sierra Club and our allies will fight their attempts to roll back these safeguards every step of the way.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Andrea Germanos
Climate activist Greta Thunberg on Sunday urged people to recognize "the link between climate and ecological emergency and mass migration, famine, and war" as she was given the first "Freedom Prize" from France's Normandy region for her ongoing school strikes for climate and role in catalyzing the Fridays for future climate movement.
By Jessica Corbett
A week after construction was scheduled to resume on a long-delayed $1.4 billion telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea — a dormant volcano on Hawaii's Big Island — thousands of Native Hawaiians who consider the mountain sacred continued to protest the planned observatory.
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By Kristy Dahl
Last week, UCS released Killer Heat, a report analyzing how the frequency of days with a dangerously hot heat index — the combination of temperature and humidity the National Weather Service calls the "feels like" temperature — will change in response to the global emissions choices we make in the coming decades.
Green is the new black at Zara.
The Spanish fast fashion behemoth has made a bold move to steer its industry to a more environmentally friendly future for textiles. Inditex, Zara's parent company, announced that all the polyester, cotton and linen it uses will be sustainably produced by 2025, as CNN reported.