Clean Power Plan Statement
August 3, 2015
The U.S. Senate made a bold declaration in January of this year: "climate change is real and not a hoax." That resolution passed 98-1. MACED agrees, climate change is real, and we all share a responsibility to lessen the increasing threats to our communities, our nation and the planet.
That's why we support the new federal Clean Power Plan. The plan provides opportunities to save energy, diversify our energy sources and grow new jobs while protecting the future health of the planet for generations to come.
Coal has already lost its competitive edge to low-cost natural gas, and Appalachian coal can't compete with cheaper coal from other places. These economic forces are already at work, and fighting new regulations – even if that effort was successful – won't revive the coal industry in our region. As recognized by the SOAR Initiative, we need to create an economic transition that will support a brighter future.
The Clean Power Plan allows flexibility in implementation, including combining emissions reduction with increased investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and that means increased opportunities to grow our economy in new ways. Measures are already being put into place through programs like How$martKY, an on-bill financing program for residential energy efficiency. Saving energy can also make local businesses more profitable. One eastern Kentucky grocery warehouse is saving $100,000 a year after MACED helped them convert to a high efficiency lighting system.
The Clean Power Plan could be a catalyst for a new energy economy based on energy efficiency and new sources of energy. This could mean new jobs for eastern Kentuckians, which would add to the 1,200 wind and solar jobs that already exist in the state. The region has been an energy leader in the past, and it can and should be at the forefront of this new energy economy so we can provide for our neighbors as we have done for generations.