New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced that a coalition of 11 state and local Comptrollers and Treasurers is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to halt the Trump administration's repeal of the Clean Power Plan, an EPA regulation that significantly reduces greenhouse house gas (GHG) emissions. The Comptrollers and Treasurers argued that repealing of the Plan could substantially impact the nation's business operations, revenue, and expenditures and negatively affect the economic well-being of all Americans.
Comptroller DiNapoli, was joined in the filling to the EPA by California State Treasurer John Chiang, California State Controller Betty T. Yee, Connecticut State Treasurer Denise Nappier, Iowa State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald, Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs, Maryland State Treasurer Nancy Kopp, New Mexico State Treasurer Tim Eichenberg, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Rhode Island State Treasurer Seth Magaziner and State of Vermont Treasurer Beth Pearce. The full text of the comments they filed to the EPA is here.
"The movement to a lower carbon economy is already underway and nations around the world have set goals and established programs to ensure that their economies benefit from this shift," DiNapoli said. "If we do not get on board with lowering GHG emissions it will have terrible environmental and economic consequences. The White House cannot afford to stick America's head in the sand when it comes to creating a cleaner economy. If we don't act now, American businesses are at risk of lagging in the world marketplace."
"At a time when the White House should be carrying the leadership banner in the fight against climate change, it instead is embracing policies which will kindle the earth and its atmosphere," said California State Treasurer Chiang. "By eliminating our nation's Clean Power Plan and doubling down on 20th Century energy sources, our economy and the lives of future generations are put at risk. Now more than ever it is important for good people to come to the aid of the planet. We also must find innovative solutions to fund the clean-energy infrastructure that no longer depends on the burning of fossil fuels. Here in California, I am leading an effort to turbocharge a segment of the capital markets – called green bonds – to unleash a torrent of new, affordable funds to rebuild our infrastructure and finance the battle against global warming. California is committed to moving forward, and I am committed to finding a way to pay for it."
"In Rhode Island, government, non-profits and the business community are all making commitments to transition toward a low carbon and sustainable economy – creating good jobs, while also protecting residents and the inherent beauty of the Ocean State," said Rhode Island Treasurer Magaziner. "The Clean Power Plan is an important tool that will lessen the impacts of climate change and provide a more certain future for our health, our environment, and economy."
"Repealing the Clean Power Plan runs counter to everything we should be doing globally to protect future generations from the disastrous effects of climate change on our environment, public health, and economy," said California State Controller Yee.
"Global warming is real – and the consequences for the planet and the economy are catastrophic," New York City Comptroller Stringer. "Let there be no doubt that the repeal of the Clean Power Plan is backwards for the environment – and the economy. It's wrong for the businesses in which the City's pension funds invest, wrong for everyday Americans, and wrong for the world. That's why this broad coalition of investors is standing up and speaking out."
"It is important to the economic future of all Vermonters that the goals of the Clean Power Plan are met to reduce GHG emissions," Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce. "Repealing the Clean Power Plan is in conflict with the global movement to combat climate change and ensure environmental health for future generations. It is my fiduciary responsibility to protect the financial interests of all Vermonters against the financially destabilizing impacts of climate change."
In October, the Trump administration announced its intention to roll back the EPA's Clean Power Plan, developed under the Obama Administration, to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electrical power generation by 32 percent by 2030, relative to 2005 levels. According to the EPA the plan would produce public health and climate benefits worth an estimated $34 billion to $54 billion per year in 2030 and would avoid 1,500 to 3,600 premature deaths.
In their comments to the agency, the Comptrollers and Treasurers highlighted research that finds the economic costs of increasing temperatures due to anthropogenic climate change could be substantial. Recent research suggests that each 1°C increase in temperature will cost the U.S. 1.2% of its gross domestic product per year on average. Climate change also poses a significant risk to investors with potential portfolio losses of $4.2 trillion globally, or 3 percent of the current market capitalization of all the world's stock markets, through 2100. Additionally, the Comptrollers and Treasurers argue the EPA's proposed repeal poses an unacceptable risk to the financial health of states and municipalities, and would increase the risk of loss of life and property in the communities they represent.