Sen. Tom Carper spoke Jan. 8 at a public meeting hosted by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources to voice his opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan.

The Clean Power Plan, proposed by the Barack Obama administration, was a step to address the growing threat of climate change by cutting carbon pollution from power plants by 32 percent, while delivering climate and health benefits of up to $90 billion dollars and reducing household energy prices by $85 a year, according to EPA.

“There are still too many people who say it’s impossible to have clean air and also have a growing economy. That’s hogwash. We can have both, and we have proven that we can time and time again,” said Carper. “The last administration, through initiatives like the Clean Power Plan, worked really hard to clean up our air and reduce emissions, and you know what? They launched the longest running economic recovery in the history of the United States. Don’t tell me you have to choose between more jobs and a healthy, safe environment. The Clean Power Plan, which built on the common sense actions that states, cities, businesses and utilities are already taking on their own, was a testament to that fact.”

In October 2017, the Donald Trump administration announced that it would begin the process of repealing the Clean Power Plan. While the agency is accepting written public comments on its proposed repeal until Jan. 16, EPA has chosen not to provide a public venue for Delawareans, let alone any residents on the East Coast, to voice their opinions on its proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan. Under the Obama administration, EPA held 11 public listening sessions before it proposed the Clean Power Plan and held four hearings during its public comment period.

The DNREC meeting, held at the Chase Center on the Riverfront, gave Delawareans an opportunity to provide comments on EPA’s proposal to scrap the Clean Power Plan, which was developed after two years of outreach to states and stakeholders and the consideration of 4.3 million public comments. The event was timely since the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced on Jan. 8 that, in 2017, the total costs for extreme weather and climate events exceeded $300 billion, a new annual record in the U.S.

Carper was joined at the meeting by Gov. John Carney, DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin, former DNREC Secretary and current President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation Collin O’Mara and Delawareans who made their voices heard on this issue.