IBEW Statement on Obama's Clean Power Plan
The IBEW issued the following statement in reaction to President Obama’s release of a final Clean Power Plan:
The IBEW is carefully studying the finalized Clean Power Plan issued by President Obama yesterday. As the largest union of electrical workers in the nation, we expressed concerns over the initial draft of the proposed EPA carbon emission regulations that in our opinion substituted wishful thinking for reality, threatening grid reliability and good jobs, while having a minimal impact on global carbon emissions.
We feel those concerns are still valid. However, we are pleased that the EPA took into account many of our criticisms, voiced at hearings held around the country last summer.
These changes include:
- An extended, flexible deadline for states to meet implementation plans
- Giving states credit for zero-carbon nuclear power in meeting carbon reduction targets
- A reliability “safety valve” that protects any existing coal facilities from closure shown to be critical to grid reliability
America needs a genuinely balanced energy policy, one that combats climate change while ensuring reliability and protecting good energy jobs.
The EPA has a track record of underestimating the impact of its rules, in terms of jobs and generation. As we noted last year, in 2011 we testified before the agency, predicting that 56 gigawatts of generation would be lost due to plant closings under then-proposed rules. At the time, the EPA estimated only 4.7 gigawatts would be lost. Experts now confirm that 56 gigawatts will be lost by 2016.
A sustainable energy policy can’t be the result of regulatory dictate. It must come from Congress, crafted by a bipartisan coalition with full input from experts and industry stakeholders to protect energy jobs and maintain reliability and service for customers across the nation.