Yesterday, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine submitted a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in response to the agency’s request for input on its proposed Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants by 30 percent by 2030.
In the letter, Kaine suggests that the proposed standard should do more to reward states like Virginia that have already taken major steps toward creating a cleaner power sector. While the current proposal sets state-by-state goals for reducing carbon emissions, these goals do not sufficiently account for many of the proactive steps that states like the Commonwealth have already taken to reduce their own emissions.
Kaine also suggests that the EPA develop a procedure for building flexibility into the proposal should there be unforeseen impacts on the affordability or reliability of electricity. In addition, he asks EPA to project the potential emission savings from energy efficiency measures on federal government installations like Naval Station Norfolk and the Pentagon. Governor McAuliffe’s Virginia Energy plan calls for aggressive implementation of energy efficiency in state facilities, and he believes federal facilities should also be leading the way.
“I’ve never accepted the view that cleaning up pollution and growing the economy are incompatible goals,”Kaine said regarding his comments . “I believe the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change necessitates action to reduce the carbon pollution responsible for it. I’m confident we can take such action in a manner that succeeds at this goal while maintaining affordable, reliable electricity for families and businesses in the Commonwealth and across the nation.”
The full text of Kaine’s letter to the EPA can be found here.