Voices of Support for the Clean Power Plan in Court

posted on Friday, April 8, 2016

Clean Power Plan - wind turbines

A diverse group of allies voiced support for the Clean Power Plan last week as the legal battle surrounding the environmental standard continues to play out in court.

By reducing carbon pollution from electric power plants in the U.S., the Clean Power Plan would help accelerate the nation’s transition from carbon-intensive fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.  It’s a transition that Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft declared both “good for the environment and good for business,” in a recently submitted amicus brief to the D.C. Court of Appeals.

Noting that “renewable energy is less subject to price volatility than non-renewable energy; provides greater long-term cost certainty to its purchasers; and in many parts of the United States, is available at prices comparable to or better than the current prices for other electricity options,” the companies stated they have already “invested heavily in renewables.” Google has a 20-year agreement to purchase wind generation from a facility in Iowa. According to their brief, the tech giants plan to increase clean energy use. Each company has committed to a “long-term goal of using renewable energy to meet the bulk of their power needs.”  Success of the Clean Power Plan, the companies noted, is “integral” to helping them meet their goals. 

Ensuring the Clean Power Plan is successfully upheld in court is also critical for protecting public health.  In a separately filed amicus brief, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Medical Association, and the American Public Health Association (among others), noted that the Clean Power Plan would not only result in carbon pollution reductions, but would also result in direct reductions of other “conventional air pollutants” such as ozone, particulate matter, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur dioxide.  The organizations warned that “failure to uphold the Clean Power Plan” would “negatively impact the health of current and future generations of Americans.” 

Iowa’s Attorney General Tom Miller also stressed the importance of the Clean Power Plan’s success last week, stating in a teleconference that “Iowa has an enormous amount at stake.” Along with a coalition of 17 other states and several municipalities, he has intervened to help defend the Clean Power Plan in court. According to the coalition’s brief, the harmful effects of greenhouse gases like carbon pollution impact “residents, infrastructure, and industries, such as farming, tourism, and recreation, as well as the States’ wildlife habitats.” 

The Iowa Environmental Council is committed to helping ensure the Clean Power Plan’s successful implementation in Iowa and continues to advocate that a recent stay of the regulation should not stop planning progress by state stakeholders.  

  1. carbon pollution
  2. clean energy
  3. solar power
  4. wind power