Grijalva, Team of City Leaders Hail Release of Clean Power Plan as Republicans Continue Refusing to Acknowledge Basic Climate Facts

Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva and a team of major-city mayors today hailed the release of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan rule to reduce climate-warming emissions nationwide over the next several decades.

The Republican majority on the Natural Resources Committee has held several hearings this year in which members have openly denied that human activity is accelerating climate change – you can see extensive video highlights here and here – and yelled at an independent scientist who highlighted the environmental and public health impacts of coal mining.

“A team of dead-ender Republicans have made a career of playing dumb on climate change and can’t stop now,” Grijalva said. “Everyone else understands how important this is. I agree with the people I represent that we shouldn’t sell our children’s future for a few more years of oil and coal profits, and I applaud the president for taking that public demand seriously. I especially thank him for facing down an obstructionist Republican majority that history will look back on with anger and disappointment.”

“There’s no question that climate change is an existential threat to our city, our country, and our planet. We have a moral responsibility to take action however we can,” said Bill de Blasio, the Mayor of New York City. “Our people are demanding no less. That’s why we’ve set ambitious goals – backed up by unprecedented policies – on the city-level, to dramatically reduce New York City’s emissions 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050. Fortunately, we’re not alone in setting forth a bold plan. President Obama and the EPA’s Clean Power Plan is the most ambitious action the United States has ever taken, setting the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from existing plants, focusing on clean renewable energy, and enhancing efficiency – all of which are vital to protecting both our planet and our public health. I urge leaders around the country to join me in supporting this vital plan.”

“I applaud the President’s bold leadership in releasing the Clean Power Plan limiting pollution from power plants. The Clean Power Plan will significantly reduce climate pollution while growing a clean energy economy,” said Ed Murray, the Mayor of Seattle. “By creating flexible and achievable standards and a practical timeline, the Plan will not only protect future generations but improve our health and create jobs today. Seattle has long been a leader in climate action committing to carbon neutrality, and our electric utility is the first carbon neutral utility in the nation.  However, cities alone cannot meet the climate challenge. Action at the national scale is necessary. As Pope Francis wrote in his encyclical on climate change, ‘the climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all.’ I am pleased that this Administration, through this action, is taking these words to heart.”

"Under President Obama's leadership, the White House has become an important partner in Boston's efforts to find solution to challenges facing the people of Boston,” said Marty Walsh, the Mayor of Boston. “The President's Climate Action Plan will continue to move our country forward in protecting our health and environment. In Boston, we have set ambitious goals in our Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emission, 25% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. We will continue collaborating with our partners in government, large institutions, businesses, and residents to prioritize strategies that will boost our economy, protect our children's health, and preserve the environment."

“Residents across Minneapolis are doing their part to combat climate change; Congress should be right there with us and take action to reduce carbon pollution at power plants,” said Betsy Hodges, the Mayor of Minneapolis, Minn. “The world must see that the U.S. is committed to tackling this problem if we hope to have real outcomes at the global climate accord in December—and we need real outcomes. Minneapolis will continue to do its part to tackle this challenge while supporting national and international efforts.”

“I welcome this much-needed action on power plant emissions from the President and EPA,” said Charlie Hales, the Mayor of Portland, Ore. “Oregonians often think we get most of our electricity from hydropower. In fact, Portland gets nearly two-thirds of our electricity from coal and gas. And because most of that is generated outside Oregon’s borders, we have little say over choice of fuels. We need the President and EPA to set national limits on greenhouse gas emissions. Then our local efforts to use electricity more efficiently, and get more of it from renewables, can build on those limits and not be undermined by their absence. This partnership of federal, state and local government standard-setting, plus private sector innovation and investment in clean energy, is our best hope for addressing what Pope Francis described as the ‘urgent need to (reduce) the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases,’ substituting clean energy technologies for fossil fuels, and meeting our obligations ‘to those who come after us, to (our) children.’”

“I thank and congratulate the President for tackling the largest source of our nation's CO2 production, and 30% of our GHG emissions: power plants,” said Sam Liccardo, the Mayor of San Jose, Calif. “We have to make stronger progress in greening our traditional energy production sources to slow the devastating impacts of climate change.”