Congressman Clyburn Statement on EPA Final Clean Power Plan Rule

Aug 3, 2015

(Columbia, SC) - South Carolina Congressman James E. Clyburn released the following statement on the release of the EPA’s final Clean Power Plan rule:

Today’s rule is the most significant step ever taken by the United States to reduce carbon emissions causing harmful climate change.  In the face of overwhelming evidence and extreme weather, we know we must act. 

The U.S. Supreme Court in 2007 affirmed the Executive Branch’s obligation under the Clean Air Act to regulate harmful greenhouse gas emissions.  In 2009, as Majority Whip, I helped ensure House passage of a comprehensive climate bill, which unfortunately never became law.  In the face of congressional inaction, the Obama Administration was legally required to take meaningful steps to address this global challenge.

Today’s final rule makes important improvements over the proposed rule with respect to nuclear power, treating it the same as other clean energy sources like wind and solar.  It is appropriate to treat these energy sources the same because, for purposes of combating climate change, they are the same—all emit zero greenhouse gases.  These changes will ensure that this rule is fair for my home state of South Carolina and other states that have already adopted clean nuclear power.

I would like to personally thank Administrator McCarthy for her willingness to make these modifications.  South Carolina will still have to make reductions, but its emissions target is now equitable and achievable.  I applaud the EPA for allowing states to chart their own course in achieving emissions reductions, and I look forward to working with South Carolina officials to craft a successful state implementation plan that will meet the required targets.