gmhTODAY 16 gmhToday Sept Oct 2017 - Page 13

America’s Clean Power Plan In March of 2017 President Trump signed the Energy Independence Executive Order directing federal agencies to review established regulations aimed at climate change. EPA Administrator Pruitt then confirmed that the EPA would consider whether to suspend, revise or rescind America’s Clean Power Plan. Content describing climate change and its impacts was re- moved from the White House website. Since then, various groups have exercised the Freedom of Information Act and taken other legal action, requesting transparency about the EPA’s efforts to dismantle established clean energy regulations and protections. Under U.S. law the EPA has a legal obligation to address carbon pollution emissions. In 2009, the EPA issued an Endangerment Finding that identified six greenhouse gas pollutants posing the most danger to public health and welfare. CO 2 accounts for over 80 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from human activities, and the largest source of CO 2 , according to electric utility reporting, comes from fossil fuel power plants. The Endangerment Finding called for the EPA to set greenhouse gas emissions standards. Reducing our CO 2 Footprint Goals were set and America began to reduce its carbon footprint. In fact, the U.S. has led the world in reducing CO 2 emissions. In 2015, it fell by 145 million tons, by far the largest decline of any country in the world. Also in 2015, the EPA finalized the Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution from power plants after a two- year outreach and engagement process with stakeholders (states, the electric power sector, and the public). Today, California continues to sup- port a clean energy future. The Golden State is among the lowest of all states in terms of per capita carbon emissions, and among the highest in terms of producing significant energy from both wind and solar. Let’s break it down. 13