After being snubbed by EPA, state announces hearing on Clean Power repeal

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President Trump signs an executive order overturning the Clean Power Plan. EPA photo.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will host a public meeting early next month on the repeal of the federal Clean Power Plan.

It is not clear on whether an Environmental Protection Agency official will be on hand to listen to residents.

The meeting on Jan. 8 comes after Delaware and other states in the region announcedplans to go ahead with a plan that runs counter to the repeal.

The DNREC-sponsored listening session will begin at 10 a.m. at the Chase Center on the Riverfront,815 Justison Street, Wilmington.

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The goal of the Clean Power Plan is to reduce carbon pollution from power plants.

Because the EPA has refused to provide a venue for Delawareans and others along the East Coast to voice their opinions on the proposed CPP repeal, DNREC has chosen to conduct a listening session, a release from the department stated. The EPA held a public hearing only in Charleston, W. Va., in the heart of coal country. Additional hearings are planned for the Midwest and California.

None are to take place on the East Coast, a hotbed of opposition to the repeal that was supported by climate change skeptics, coal companies and others who felt the plan was illegal.

Comments from the Delaware public meeting will be submitted in the form of a transcript on behalf of all who speak on the proposed repeal.

“EPA should not take action to repeal this important rule without first hearing from our citizens – and Delaware has stepped up to host this public meeting because EPA is not offering a reasonable venue for citizens’ voices to be heard,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “The Clean Power Plan offers the states a vital and flexible tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s fossil-fuel burning power plants. We are hosting the meeting to afford the public the opportunity to participate in the EPA’s decision-making process that will directly impact their lives and environment.”

Garvin is a former regional director for the EPA.

The repeal of Clean Power has its supporters in Delaware. David Stevenson of the Caesar Rodney Institute served as a member of the Trump administration’s EPA’s transition team and strongly supporting the repeal of the Clean Power Plan.

More details about the Clean Power Plancan be found on EPA’s website, including the final rule, technical analyses, and other supporting information.

Speakers are asked to register no later than Jan. 5 by emailingValerie Gray(Valerie.Gray@state.de.us).

On Wednsday, nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic statesfinalized new rulesto cut power plant pollution by at least two-thirds below 2005 levels by 2030.

The nine currently participating states anticipatethat the program will raise on the order of $7.5 billion for investment in clean energy programs from 2018 through 2030 – with an estimated $345 millionfor Delawareover the next 12 years, according to a release.

Environment America noted that New Jersey and Virginia could join the group in 2018. Holdouts include the coal-producing states of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

The regional greenhouse plans have drawn opposition from Republicans in Delaware and elsewhere, who cite high electric bills as one reason for the state’s economic performance lagging behind other states.

They go on to claim that low natural gas prices, rather than mandates, are cleaning up the air as new natural-gas powered power plants take the place of obsolete coal-fired generators.

ManyDelawareans havestrongly supported the Clean Power Plan since the small state is downwind from states with less restrictive environmental regulations. Clean Power supporters also say the standards are creating “green jobs” in solar and other areas and claim critics do not take into account the health benefits of cleaner air.

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