clean energy

Murphy Reacts to EPA’s Proposed Affordable Energy Rule

In response to the Trump administration’s proposed plan to relax carbon limits on power plants, Gov. Phil Murphy issued the following statement:

“Reversing efforts to combat climate change and increasing carbon emissions nationwide is not only a shameful move by the Trump Administration, but one that puts lives at risk and drastically harms human health. While the Trump Administration turns a blind eye to the reality of climate change, my administration remains committed to keeping the state on a path to 100 percent clean energy by 2050 and accelerating the development of renewable energy sources and our clean energy economy for the benefit of all New Jerseyans.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed “Affordable Energy Rule” rule would replace an Obama-era regulation that set strong carbon dioxide limits for each state while also enticing utilities to invest in natural gas and renewable energy projects.

EPA acting administrator Andrew Wheeler said that the new proposal “respects the rule of law and will enable states to build clean, reliable and affordable energy portfolios.”

According to a Washington Post report, Bill Wehrum, head of the EPA’s air and radiation office, said the proposal would provide companies with an incentive to update their operations and that the EPA has other policies in place that reduce traditional pollutants.

The EPA estimates that greenhouse gases emitted by energy companies would decline due to market forces. The Washington Post article reports that, according to an EPA analysis, “carbon dioxide levels would be between 0.7 percent and 1.5 percent lower than they would have been without any regulation in place by 2030.”

In reality, the Obama administration’s rule, called the “Clean Power Plan,” has not taken effect. According to The Washington Post, more than two dozen Republican attorney’s general and industry groups said the EPA exceeded its legal authority during the previous administration, resulting in a Supreme Court stay motion.

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