Last fall, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the repeal of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), a federal policy formulated to directly combat climate change by limiting carbon emissions from power plants. Mayor Kenney declared the City of Philadelphia’s opposition to the reckless decision following the October announcement.
On February 28, Mayor Kenney reiterated his statement in a letter signed by 240 U.S Mayors representing 52 million Americans. In the letter addressed to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the mayors describe the threat climate change poses to their residents. “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…Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is essential to protect our citizens against the worst impacts of climate change.”
Similar sentiments were shared by Philadelphia residents at a Citizens’ Hearing on the Clean Power Plan held this past January. The EPA organized only one official public hearing in West Virginia on the proposal to withdraw the Clean Power Plan, as well as three other listening sessions, none of which were based in or near Philadelphia. The Office of Sustainability collaborated with PennEnvironment, Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown, and Moms Clean Air Force to host the Citizens’ Hearing in order to give local residents a chance to be heard by the EPA.
Over 50 people attended the hearing held in City Council Chambers, including four Pennsylvania state representatives, to share their thoughts about the Clean Power Plan and why withdrawing the Plan would ultimately be harmful to our environment, our economy, and our residents.
State Representative Donna Bullock, who serves Pennsylvania’s 195th Legislative District, was the first to provide testimony at the hearing. Bullock acknowledged the inequities of climate change, stating, “when it comes to the air that you breathe, unfortunately, race matters. And while climate change impacts everyone, certain groups of people are especially vulnerable. Poor communities are less likely to recover from climate-caused disasters. ”
The full transcript of the Citizens’ Hearing was captured and submitted to the EPA in addition to comments the City of Philadelphia submitted in partnership with dozens of other cities and states opposing the repeal.
Your voice can still be heard! The EPA will be accepting comments on the proposed repeal until April 26th. Submit your comments now.
What can you do?
- Submit public comment: The EPA will accept public comment on the proposed rollback through April 26th. Learn how you can make your voice heard in the regulatory process. To understand more about how climate change will impact Philadelphia, read Growing Stronger: Toward a Climate Ready Philadelphia.
- Call your representatives: Reach out to elected officials at the federal level and let them know you support Congressional action to protect the Clean Power Plan and fight climate change.
- Take action at home: While preventing the worst causes of climate change will take action from the federal government, there are steps we can take at home to do our part. Check out Greenworks on the Ground guides to learn more.