The Clean Power Plan, which if enacted would have been the single-biggest federal effort to cut the carbon pollution that causes climate change, represented an important step not only to protect America’s health but also to demonstrate our global leadership on climate change. USGBC supported the rule since its initial proposal and has advocated for its special incentives promoting energy efficiency for low-income families and increased use of renewable energy.
Let’s be clear. Rolling back these standards, as the EPA proposed today, doesn’t just compromise our living standards. It is a life-threatening mistake that will affect every single person for generations to come.
The particulate matter from these coal plants can lead to breathing problems, heart disease, and a negative impact on cognitive capabilities—just to name a few.
According to one analysis published in June in the medical journal JAMA, replacing the Clean Power Plan with something less stringent will bring an estimated 36,000 additional deaths and an estimated 630,000 cases of respiratory ailments in children over a decade.
To say the USGBC is discouraged by the proposed replacement rule is a profound understatement. Not only does the Administration's own analysis acknowledge their rule will increase premature deaths, the so-called Affordable Clean Energy rule ignores the most cost-effective form of clean energy on the market today: increasing energy efficiency in homes, offices, schools, and industrial buildings.
While we share the disappointment of countless organizations and individuals around the country right now, USGBC plans to submit comments and continue working toward a world where we reduce our dependency on coal power and rely more on renewable energy and energy efficiency for a greener and greater future.
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