Yarmuth joins amicus brief in support of Clean Power Plan

10/10/2017 04:19 PM

While many in Kentucky’s federal delegation are applauding the move to end the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth is joining the fight to keep the Environmental Protection Agency rule.

Yarmuth, D-Louisville, joined an amicus curiae brief on Tuesday in support of the Clean Power Plan, which sought to reduce carbon emissions 30 percent by the year 2030. The rule is aimed at curbing climate change, and touted as a measure to prevent 90,000 childhood asthma attacks over the next 15 years, and 3,500 premature deaths a year‎.

On Monday EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt traveled to Hazard to announce his plans to end the Clean Power Plan, which many in the coal industry predicted would cripple the already struggling industry through additional regulations. Pruitt signed the notice on Tuesday, arguing the regulation exceeds the EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act — a point that’s being fought over in court.

“That rule was really about picking winners and losers,” Pruitt said in Kentucky on Monday.

Yarmuth calls that thinking a cruel deception.

“At the heart of today’s Clean Power Plan decision is one of the cruelest deceptions perpetrated in politics today: telling the American people that clean air protections are responsible for reduced demand for coal and that getting rid of these protections will create tens of thousands of coal jobs,” Yarmuth said. “Both are false. In fact, even President Trump’s own Energy Department just issued a comprehensive report which clearly states that the biggest contributor to coal plant retirements has been cheap, abundant natural gas, not environmental regulations or renewable energy.

“The facts are clear and by willfully ignoring them, the Trump Administration is jeopardizing our environment, our economy, and—ultimately—our existence. For the sake of future generations, I hope we will be able to fix the damage,” Yarmuth said.

Yarmuth along with 64 current and former U.S. Senators and 163 current and former US House members are attempting to join an on-going case currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which is considering a challenge to the rule in West Virginia versus the Environmental Protection Agency.

The brief argues the Clean Power Plan is Clean Air Act to “protect the Nation’s air resources so as to promote the public health and welfare and the productive capacity of its population.”

In 2016, all of Kentucky’s Congressmen except Yarmuth joined an amicus curiae brief against the Clean Power Plan — attempting to halt the Environmental Protection Agency’s agenda under Obama.


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