Mayors: Don’t repeal Clean Power Plan

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim joined more than 200 mayors from throughout the country in opposing the Trump administration’s proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan.

Kim, alongside Honolulu mayor Kirk Caldwell, Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa and Kauai County Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., signed a letter opposing the proposed repeal of carbon pollution regulations.

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The letter, signed by 236 mayors from 47 states and territories, argues that repealing the Obama-era policy will cause communities throughout the nation to suffer as the effects of climate change worsen.

“No one is insulated from the impacts of climate change — people in cities of all sizes, along with suburban and rural communities are all at risk,” the letter reads. “Residents of our communities have experienced harmful impacts of climate change such as dirtier air, increased heat-related illnesses and deaths, damaged and disappearing coastlines, longer droughts and other strains on water quantity and quality, and increasingly frequent and severe storms and wildfires.”

The 236 mayors are members of the Climate Mayors, a nationwide group of mayors collaborating to build political will to address climate change. The Climate Mayors last year committed to uphold the climate goals presented in the 2015 Paris Agreement within their communities.

But their legal authority does not extend beyond their cities.

“It is important for the federal government to lead our transition to a cleaner, healthier, more affordable and more resilient energy future,” Kim said in a statement. “The Clean Power Plan is a step in the right direction and is aligned with local efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, improve energy efficiency, and use renewable energy sources. This is a mission that we must all be a part of.”

The Clean Power Plan was proposed in 2015 and aimed to reduce nationwide carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 32 percent by 2030. The same year, Hawaii’s legislature passed a bill requiring 100 percent of the state’s energy come from renewable sources by 2040.

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In October 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency announced its intention to repeal the Clean Power Plan. President Trump has repeatedly dismissed the scientific consensus on climate change, calling it a hoax invented to sabotage America’s industry.

Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune-herald.com.