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West Coast Leaders Applaud Obama Administration Proposal to Cut Carbon Pollution

California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia Urge Strong Federal Action to Combat Global Warming

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By: Office of the Governor

SACRAMENTO, June 2, 2014 – The leaders of California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia today applauded the Obama Administration's newly released proposal for reducing carbon pollution as a welcome sign that the federal government is stepping up as a partner in the fight against climate change.

The three West Coast governors and the Premier of British Columbia, representing the Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC), said the proposal would achieve meaningful greenhouse gas reductions from existing power plants, the nation's largest source of heat-trapping emissions. At the same time, they said, it will allow the states flexibility to build on programs and partnerships that are already protecting public health, saving consumers money and spurring innovation in cleaner, safer energy.

"President Obama and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy are to be congratulated for accelerating a national response to the costs and risks of climate change," said Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber. "These standards will protect the health of citizens across the country while supporting our growing renewable energy economy on the West Coast. I am particularly pleased to see the Administration recognize the important role of regional partnerships, like the Pacific Coast Collaborative, in meeting the objectives of this new effort to curb carbon pollution," he said.

The proposed U.S. EPA regulation, under Section 111(d) of the federal Clean Air Act, complements the goals of the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, a comprehensive and far-reaching agreement signed by the leaders in October 2013. The agreement commits the three states and British Columbia to align climate and energy policies, link programs where feasible to create consistent and cost-effective solutions, and grow the region's clean energy economy.

"President Obama today announced historic federal policy action to address climate change," said Washington Governor Jay Inslee. "The EPA's new carbon pollution standards will also encourage and empower ongoing state and regional climate action, such as our collaborative efforts to grow the Pacific Coast's clean energy economy. The risks of inaction on climate change are too great to ignore, and threaten grave damage to Washington's communities, economy and way of life. I commend the President for taking this bold climate action."

With a combined population of 53 million people and an annual GDP of more than $2.8 trillion, the region represented by the Pacific Coast Collaborative would be the world's fifth largest economy. The PCC provides a forum for cooperative action on issues ranging from clean energy and economic growth to transportation and emergency management. As part of their partnership, the leaders pledged to cooperate with governments around the world to press for action on climate change.

"While others delay and deny, the Obama Administration is confronting climate change head-on with these new standards," said California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. "Clean energy policies are already working in California, generating billions of dollars in energy savings and more than a million jobs. Bold, sustained action will be required at every level and this is a major step forward."

Under the PCC Action Plan, California and British Columbia will maintain their existing carbon pricing programs, while Oregon and Washington will commit to moving forward on similar policies. The leaders will further commit to "meaningful coordination and linkage between states and provinces across North America."

"I congratulate President Obama and the U.S. EPA for taking the next step on the path to not only reducing carbon pollution in the United States, but also in driving investment in new clean technology and clean energy for years to come," said British Columbia Premier Christy Clark. "British Columbia has also acted boldly to address global climate change with policies to price carbon and reduce carbon emissions in our province. As well, we're working to reduce global emissions by exporting natural gas from the world's cleanest LNG facilities. I'm confident our collective efforts will deliver genuine results, and that's why the Pacific Coast Collaborative looks forward to working together to build on the foundation the U.S. EPA is putting in place."

 

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