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Broad Coalition Goes to Court to Fight for Clean Power Plan

A broad coalition filed papers Friday in support of the Clean Power Plan. (ChristofferRiemer)
A broad coalition filed papers Friday in support of the Clean Power Plan. (ChristofferRiemer)
April 4, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine – Both sides are preparing for the next round in the legal battle over the Clean Power Plan and the EPA's authority to regulate carbon and greenhouse gas emissions to curb climate change.

State House Assistant Majority Leader Sara Gideon says for many Mainers, climate change used to be something people worried about for the sake of future generations, but she says times have changed and Maine is already experiencing a variety of negative effects.

"So, whether we're talking about fishing, whether we are talking about hunting or tourism,” she points out. “All of these things are effected by what's happening with our climate right now, and it's pretty serious."

Last Friday, faith leaders, elected officials, public health experts and environmental advocates filed friend-of-the-court statements in support of the Clean Power Plan.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington is considering a case brought by industry groups and 27 state attorneys general.

Ron Busby, president and CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., an organization of black business owners, says New England and the nation's economy depends on a high quality of life, and that requires a healthy planet.

"As we talk about the future of the country being really supported by small businesses it's very important that our locations, our businesses have access to quality environment to live and to work in," he states.

Janice Nolen, assistant vice president for national policy for the American Lung Association, says the new rules are critical in coordinating efforts to reduce climate change.

"The Clean Power Plan is a landmark step to really address climate change as a nation,” she points out. “We've been doing little things here and there, but this is a really comprehensive look at trying to reduce carbon pollution from the biggest human-made source, which are the power plants."

According to the EPA, the plan will produce up to $54 billion in climate and health benefits each year by 2030, and will prevent 3,600 premature deaths and 90,000 asthma attacks.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - ME