Carney makes case for keeping Clean Power Plan

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Indian River, the state's only coal-fired power plant.

Delaware Gov. John Carney joined Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) at a public meeting on Monday in criticizing President Trump’s executive order last year to revoke the Clean Power Plan.

The plan calls for a reduction in electricity generated from coal-fired power plants. Delaware gets downwind emissions from such plants that sometimes do not come with advanced scrubbing equipment.

Carney called for the meeting after the Environmental Protection Agency held only one meeting on the power plan in coal-rich West Virginia. Additional hearings were scheduled in Wyoming, San Francisco and Kansas City.

Below is an excerpt from Governor Carney’s remarks, which will be sent to the EPA.

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“Our state environmental regulators are charged with protecting Delawareans’ health and our environment, in collaboration with the federal government. The proposed repeal will make our efforts to reduce carbon pollution much more difficult, and will also remove a strong incentive for states and the federal government to work together to clean up our air….the citizens and economy of Delaware are negatively affected by these changes and if the Clean Power Plan is repealed, we will suffer even more,” Carney stated.

He went on claim that “rising average temperatures and prolonged heat waves pose critical health threats to Delaware farmers, outdoor workers, children, and the elderly….these threats will only increase if we don’t take a stance as a nation and a global community to reduce the human emissions of greenhouse gases that feed rapid climate change.”

The Trump administration has claimed that coal plants are needed to ensure a reliable energy supply. In a related development, a federal commission that regulates the electric grid initially rejected a Trump Administration plan to bolster coal and nuclear power at a meeting on Monday.

In the meantime, utilities continue to shut down coal-fired plants that are often replaced with natural gas generators that come with less pollution and lower labor costs. Natural gas prices have become competitive with coal.

The newest power plant in Delaware is Calpine’s site in Dover. A far larger Old Dominion Electric Cooperative gas-fired plant about a half an hour west of Newark will also provide electric power for Delaware Electric and other co-ops.

One of the leading critics of the Clean Power Plan is David Stevenson of the Caesar Rodney Institute, Newark. Stevenson was a member of the transition team for EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt.

The institute also disputes claims of sea level rise and other factors cited as reasons for the Clean Power Plan. The institute also believes actions of the state have driven away industry by driving up electric power prices.

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