Statement of IBEW International President Edwin D. Hill On President Obama’s Climate Action Plan
June 25, 2013
The President’s statement on energy today is a step in the right direction on the long road to reaching a balanced, workable consensus on energy issues.
We applaud the President’s “all of the above” approach, which the IBEW has long advocated as the best means to use all of America’s resources and technology to the fullest effect and lessen overreliance on any one energy source.
The IBEW is encouraged that the President apparently will direct the Environmental Protection Agency to re-propose its rule limiting greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants to establish separate standards for gas and coal-fired plants. This separation reflects practical realities and is in keeping with the agency’s past approach. While there is little debate that many older coal-fired plants should be phased out, as they are scheduled to be by 2015, even newer, cleaner coal-based facilities would have been jeopardized by the EPA’s initial proposal with a resulting severe impact on our nations’ ability to generate enough electricity to meet the growing demand. We are hopeful that this change, along with the President’s directive to the EPA to work with interested parties in the development of a rule to regulate carbon emissions, will allow for a reasonable schedule in which to transition to other energy sources in a way that protects reliability and saves jobs while allowing time for the development of carbon capture and sequestration technology that will enable our nation to maximize the use of its energy resources.
We believe that energy policy – like a good financial plan – requires a balanced portfolio. The President’s plan is a step forward, but the journey has many miles ahead.