Press Release — March 13, 2017

Unraveling Clean Power Plan Will Create Havoc on Our Environment, Economy and Families

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2017
Contact: Sharon Singh, sharon.singh@peoplesclimate.org; 202.499.9565; @spksingh


March for Climate, Justice and Jobs on April 29 to Resist Attacks and Bring Solutions to Elected Leaders

Washington, DC — In response to reports that the Trump Administration will begin the process of walking back the Clean Power Plan (CPP), the Peoples Climate Movement (PCM) is demonstrating itself as a massive and wide-reaching movement in opposition to this dangerous step that puts people and the planet at grave risk. The PCM is a broad-based ground-breaking coalition of more than 50 faith-based, labor unions, indigenous, civil rights and environmental justice groups working together to build bold solutions that tackle climate change, rooted in economic and racial justice.

Invalidating the Clean Power Plan will undo hard-won protections that allow the EPA to meet its legal requirements to regulate pollutants, including carbon dioxide and more.

“This anticipated action, by an administration that favors corporate profits over clean air and water, puts our country, our communities and our people at great risk. It also sends a dangerous message to the world that the United States does not care about climate change or protecting frontline communities,” said Paul Getsos, National Coordinator, PCM.

This move, along with past comments and actions illustrates the Trump administration’s continued commitment to undermining any progress in addressing environmental justice. The CPP is a critical component in curbing climate change and an important step in transitioning to a clean energy economy that creates family sustaining jobs in a variety of growing industries.

To combat these continued attacks on climate action and protecting front-line communities, the PCM is gearing up for a mass mobilization to March for Climate, Jobs and Justice, on April 29. Tens of thousands of people have already signed up to converge in Washington, DC to push the Trump administration and Congress to do their jobs – protect our planet, our communities and transition to a renewable energy future.


The following is a list quotes from the March for Climate, Justice and Jobs partners:

Rev Lennox Yearwood Jr., President and CEO of Hip Hop Caucus, said:

“Communities of color, low income communities, and indigenous communities stand to benefit from the implementation of the Clean Power Plan. If it is rescinded it will have significant public health impacts on our most vulnerable communities. Fossil fuels and the carbon that it burns are directly linked to climate change and environmental pollution. The fossil fuel industry knows this and uses climate deniers, like Scott Pruitt, to obscure the truth in the same fashion that the tobacco industry, pesticides and others like them have done to get every last dollar of profit while hurting people as well as the land, air, and water. Backed by campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry, it’s clear that Pruitt and the Trump Administration’s primary interest is in that of protecting the fossil fuel industry, which cannot be to tell us the truth.”

Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network, said:

“President Donald Trump tearing apart the CPP is an act of aggression and violence against the sacredness of Mother Earth and Father Sky. Our indigenous prophecies and teachings tell us that Life as we know it is in danger. The atmosphere and the environment cannot absorb anymore concentration of greenhouse gases. As Indigenous Peoples, we still understand our responsibility as guardians and the need to take action as defenders of the Earth. Indigenous peoples will not stand idle as we tell the world the Earth is the source of life to be protected, not merely a resource to be exploited and abused.”

Luisa Blue, Executive Vice President, Service Employees International Union, said:

“Working people from coast-to-coast are already feeling the devastating health impacts of toxic air and water caused by corporate polluters who for too long have gone unchecked. By undoing the Clean Power Plan, President Trump is reverting our communities to unhealthy and unsafe living conditions to benefit corporations over our communities. We can have a vibrant economy and vibrant communities with clean air and water.”

Patrick Carolan, Franciscan Action Network Executive Director, said:

“Pope Francis reminds us in Laudato Si that our sisters and brothers in the Global South are most affected by the giant polluters in the first world. We have a moral responsibility to care for our neighbors, across the street and across the world. By eliminating the Clean Power Plan the administration is showing that they value profits over human beings, many of whom are suffering now from our selfish decisions.”

Tom Steyer, NextGen Climate President, said:

“These actions are an assault on American values and they endanger the health, safety and prosperity of every American. Trump is deliberately destroying programs that create jobs and safeguards that protect our air and water, all for the sake of allowing corporate polluters to profit at our expense. In the face of attacks like these, we will continue stand strong for our values and for a better future for every American.”

Gretchen Dahlkemper, Moms Clean Air Force National Field Director, said:

“As moms and dads, we are working together to protect what we love most: our children. President Trump says he wants to protect clean air and clean water, but his pending executive order to roll back public health protections achieved under the Clean Power Plan tells us otherwise. Overturning the Plan – the most significant step that our country has ever taken to address the urgent crisis of climate change — could trigger up to 3,600 premature deaths, 90,000 asthma attacks in children, and 300,000 missed work and school days annually by 2030. Make no mistake: these measures will harm real lives and impose an incalculable cost on our economy and our moral leadership in the world. As moms and dads, we say: not on our watch.”

Kali Akuno, Cooperation Jackson Co-Founder/ Co-Director and Climate Justice Alliance Member, said:

“This is nothing short of a declaration of war against humanity and all complex life. The question is what are we going to do about it? How do we strengthen the climate justice movement in this era, under these circumstances?”

Trip Van Noppen, Earthjustice President, said:

“Denying climate change will not make it go away. Trump is needlessly putting the health and safety of our families at risk by threatening to dismantle the Clean Power Plan, a common sense plan to reduce the pollution that leads to deadly floods, droughts, and wildfires. Should Trump proceed along this dangerous path, Earthjustice will continue to defend the Clean Power Plan and will use the full strength of our nation’s bedrock environmental laws to safeguard our future.”

May Boeve, 350.org, Executive Director, said:

“This is climate denial at its truest. The Trump administration’s rollback of hard-won protections of people and planet actively denies communities fundamental rights to clean air and water. Despite Trump’s attempts to prop up risky fossil fuels, the renewable energy revolution is unstoppable. The American people overwhelmingly support climate action, which is why we’re bringing the fight to Washington.”

Kierán Suckling, Center for Biological Diversity Executive Director, said:

“Trump just took his war against our climate to a terrifying new level. Reducing power-plant pollution is mandated by the Clean Air Act, and Trump can’t undo science and law with the stroke of a pen. We’ll fight in court to defend this critical effort to protect our planet from global warming.”

Daniel Abdullah, Alliance for Climate Education 16 year-old Fellow, said:

Trump’s actions in combatting the CPP and removing necessary regulation on carbon emissions show that he has no concern for the implications of climate change on future generations. By denying proven scientific fact, he is putting our futures at risk. It is our responsibility to make our presence known, our voices heard, and hold him accountable for the harm he is causing to our health, and our future. “

Christopher Ramirez, Conservation Voters New Mexico Juntos Director, said:

“The Clean Power Plan would have positively impacted clean air for Latina/o/x communities like where I live in Albuquerque’s South Valley. In addition to reducing carbon pollution from coal and natural gas burning power plants in Northwest New Mexico, the Clean Power Plan would have shifted control of energy decisions and sourcing to local communities with energy sovereignty. Latina/o/c families want clean air and renewable energy including have the choice for their energy be theirs. The CPP would also mean investment in renewable energy and good and green jobs for Latina/o/x and other families in New Mexico. Juntos and the neighborhoods we organize with will continue to push for clean air, renewable energy, just transition and engagement of environmental justice communities at all levels of decision making processes.”

Angela Anderson, Union of Concerned Scientists Climate and Energy Program Director, said:

“The Trump administration’s actions to rescind the Clean Power Plan without proposing a robust alternative are dangerously irresponsible and completely at odds with the urgent need to address climate change—and it defies the ruling of the Supreme Court which found that the EPA was responsible for regulating carbon. Climate impacts—including worsening flooding due to sea level rise and heavy precipitation, droughts, wildfires and heat waves—are already having a costly effect on Americans. Instead of acting at the behest of fossil fuel interests, our nation’s leaders must instead prioritize Americans’ health and security.”

Tiernan Sittenfeld, League of Conservation Voters SVP for Government Affairs, said:

“The Trump Administration is continuing its relentless assault on critical environmental and public health safeguards with today’s attack on the common sense and overwhelmingly popular Clean Power Plan.  This is a particular affront to low income and communities of color who are hardest hit by the impacts of climate change and to the clean energy economy which has now surpassed fossil fuel jobs in the United States. LCV and our members will fight these attacks today and every day, and we look forward to marching in the streets of DC and across the country on April 29.”

Aura Vasquez, Director of Climate Justice, said:

“Hearing the EPA administrator deny that CO2 is the primary contributor to global warming is nothing short of an atrocity. This basic fact is at the heart of all of our efforts to stop the devastation of climate change. Denying the science of this reality will impact millions of people on the front lines of a dangerously changing climate, especially low-income communities and communities of color. More than ever, we need to take to the streets at the People’s Climate March in April 29 and show the impacts of carbon pollution on our communities and our health – and by doing so, demonstrate the real threat of  climate change.”

Angela Adrar, Executive Director, Climate Justice Alliance, said:

“We honor the hard work of those in our movement who have fought over  generations to provide institutional safety guards to frontline communities suffering from systemic environmental racism, an extractive economy, and business as usual.  The Our Power Plan, our commitment to real solutions derived from Indigenous Sovereignty,  Energy Democracy, and an overall Just Transition to a regenerative economy have historically guided our recommendations to improve these institutions, tools, and agreements.  Moving forward CJA members would benefit from having these tools, such as the CPP, improved not gutted to best address the needs of environmental justice and climate justice frontline communities.”

Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director, said:

Trump’s attack on the Clean Power Plan will cost billions of dollars and thousands of lives. The Clean Power Plan protects all families in America by curbing dangerous carbon pollution and reducing other toxic pollutants like mercury, nitrous oxide, and sulfur dioxide — but unfortunately Trump would clearly rather pad polluter profits. But even Trump can’t stop the booming clean energy economy at a time when people all over the country have organized to help push coal to its lowest level in history and cities like Salt Lake City, Utah and Georgetown, Texas are committing to 100 percent clean energy. Regardless, Trump can’t reverse the Clean Power Plan or our clean energy progress with the stroke of a pen, because we will fight him in the courts, in the streets on April 29 and beyond, and at the state and local level everywhere across the country.”

Rhea Suh, Natural Resources Defense Council President, said:

“The Clean Power Plan is the strongest measure we’ve taken to protect future generations from the growing dangers of climate change. It would cut the climate-disrupting fossil fuel pollution from the power plants that account for 40 percent of the nation’s carbon footprint. By promoting efficiency, the plan would save our families money on their power bills. It would spur job growth. And it would help prepare our workers for success in the global clean energy boom projected to draw more than $7 trillion in investment over the coming 25 years. If he’s serious about creating more good-paying middle class jobs, why would Trump want to kill that plan?”

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Background and History: The People’s Climate Movement grew out of the largest climate march in U.S. history in New York in September of 2014, creating a groundbreaking coalition of climate and environmental justice groups, labor unions, faith, students, indigenous peoples and civil rights groups working to build bold solutions to tackle the climate crisis, rooted in economic and racial justice.

With a 100 days of action culminating in mass mobilization on April 29, the 100th day of the Trump presidency, this coalition will leverage their power once again to resist the Trump administration and corporate interests’ efforts to thwart or reverse progress towards a more just America.

More than ever, it takes everyone to change everything. That’s why the People’s Climate Movement is calling on everyone to join the resistance to Trump and his crooked administration and the one percent running our country, and come together to build solutions to climate change that put our communities first.

For more information on the April 29 Peoples Climate Mobilization, visit: peoplesclimate.org

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