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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday pushed back against the Trump administration’s plan to repeal the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which dramatically reduces emissions from coal-fired power plants both to mitigate climate change impacts and to improve public health.
“Here in Colorado, clean energy is not a partisan issue: 95 percent of Coloradans want to see our state move toward a cleaner energy future,” Hickenlooper said in a prepared statement. “Clean energy is an economic engine for our state and for our nation. These are well-paying jobs, most of which cannot be automated or shipped overseas.
“At the same time, renewable energy can actually lower customers’ energy bills. We have already set greenhouse gas reduction goals that would go beyond those set forth in the Clean Power Plan. We know it’s good for Colorado jobs, for our economy, and for our health.”
Hickenlooper, a Democrat, did battle with his own attorney general, Republican Cynthia Coffman, when she decided to join other states suing to block the CPP. The governor in July issued an executive order putting the state ahead of the emission-reduction numbers established by the Paris Accord, which Trump also plans to pull out of.
The Democratic National Committee also lambasted Trump’s EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s actions to gut the climate plan he once sued to stop as the Oklahoma attorney general with close ties to the oil and gas industry. On Monday he told coal miners “the war on coal is over.”
“After experiencing the devastation of multiple record-setting hurricanes, one would think that President Trump would be ready to give up his climate science denial,” said DNC spokesman Daniel Wessel. “But instead, Trump and Scott Pruitt have chosen to side with industry special interests over the health and safety of the American people.
“By repealing the Clean Power Plan, Trump recklessly endangers our environment, our economy and our lives. While Trump ignores reality, Democrats will continue to combat climate change, invest in clean and renewable energy that creates jobs and grows our economy, and ensure the safety and well-being of future generations.”
Bush administration EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, a former Republican governor of New Jersey and an outspoken critic of Trump’s selection of Pruitt, took to the airwaves on Tuesday to question the move to scrap the CPP, saying it ignores the economic reality that natural gas is cheaper and burns cleaner than coal and that the costs of renewable sources of energy also continue to come down.