Abandoning President Barack Obama’s noble efforts to bolster our commitment to caring for the Earth, our common home, Donald Trump today signed an executive order today that scraps the nation’s Clean Power Plan, trying to undo one of the most important steps taken in recent years to combat the climate crisis.
The move was met with loud and fierce denunciations from the Left Coast, which has a record of leading on environmental protection. In a joint statement, the governors of Washington, Oregon, and California joined with the mayors of Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles to declare that that region was prepared to lead in tackling climate damage and clean up our air, water, and soil, in defiance of the Trump regime and its backwards agenda.
As the governors of Washington, Oregon and California and the mayors of Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles, we speak today in unified opposition to President Trump’s Executive Order withdraw and rewrite the Clean Power Plan.
We won’t let the president’s misguided decision limit our region’s economic opportunities or our commitment to doing what’s right to make our cities and states cleaner and healthier for future generations.
We speak as a region of over 50 million people with a combined GDP of $2.8 trillion. There is no question that to act on climate is to act in our best economic interests. Through expanded climate policies, we have grown jobs and expanded our economies while cleaning our air.
This Order moves our nation in the wrong direction and puts American prosperity at risk. We will assert our own 21st century leadership and chart a different course. Climate change is one of our greatest threats, from more wildfires threatening our homes and communities to ocean acidification rocking our shellfish industry to drought hurting our farmers. Too much is at stake – from our health and safety to our jobs and livelihoods – for us to move backwards.
We will honor our commitments to our communities to do what’s right to keep our residents safe, secure, healthy and prosperous as we accelerate our clean energy economy and put the interest of our people before those of big polluters. We will continue to invest in clean energy that creates local jobs and keeps utility bills low, and we will electrify transportation to provide convenient, safe, and affordable ways to get around our cities, and make our neighborhoods healthy and vibrant.
Our cities and states will continue to assert our leadership and position our region for economic success. We urge states, cities and businesses from across the country to join us in leading and re-affirming our commitment to cut carbon emissions and reverse the damaging impacts to our communities of unfettered pollution.
Jointly signed by:
California Governor Jerry Brown
Oregon Governor Kate Brown
Washington Governor Jay Inslee
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray
Meanwhile, Senators Maria Cantwell, Patty Murray, Dianne Feinstein, Kamala Harris, Jeff Merkley, and Ron Wyden (representing Washington, Oregon, and California) joined colleagues from New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado in sending Trump a letter urging him to reverse course and leave the Clean Power Plan in place.
“I am deeply disappointed that the Trump administration is doing exactly what we feared, and gutting our most critical environmental protections,” said U.S. Senator Patty Murray in a statement released following the publication of the letter.
“By rolling back the Clean Power Plan and reversing multiple major U.S. initiatives to combat climate change, the Administration is making communities across the country more vulnerable to climate change than ever before.”
“The health of millions of Americans is now at risk with President Trump’s executive order allowing coal power plants, the largest source of the nation’s harmful carbon pollution, to emit greenhouse gases with no regulation or penalty. Ignoring climate change won’t just affect our environment and health – but also key parts of Washington state’s economy including salmon fishing and outdoor recreation.”
“Trump is also sending a dangerous signal by moving backwards on major climate change initiatives, showing other countries that they can do the same,” Senator Murray observed. “We will continue to see rising sea levels, more disastrous storms, and in Washington state — the effects of ocean acidification and longer wildfire seasons. We owe it to our children and our grandchildren to fight back on this reckless Executive Order, and I will not stand down.”
Trump and his people are certain to ignore the letter, but it’s good to see our members of Congress speaking out in opposition.
U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) also didn’t mince words in her response to Trump’s dangerous and unhealthful order.
“This executive order represents more political posturing from a president unwilling to recognize scientific facts,” Jayapal said. “It rolls back progress we made under President Obama, puts the climate and public health at risk, all while bailing out the president’s friends in the coal industry.”
“Donald Trump has taken his climate change denying rhetoric straight from the campaign trail to the White House, and is looking to do real damage to our efforts to combat global warming and protect our planet,” she added. “The good news is that some of these safeguards are on strong legal footing, and the president cannot easily revoke them with without a court challenge.”
“The science is clear on climate change. The World Meteorological Association has warned us that 2016 was the hottest year in recorded history. It is our moral responsibility to protect our environment for future generations and to justly transition our economy from fossil fuels to clean energy, providing sustainable jobs to our communities. This executive order is a huge step in the wrong direction.
“We’ve fought back against this president’s backward and destructive policies before. We will bring the same commitment and organizing strength to protecting our environment, and I will continue to fight him every step of the way.”