In the Aug. 15 Point of View “Cooper’s puzzling EPA stance” attacking Attorney General Roy Cooper for supporting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, NC DENR Secretary Donald R. van der Vaart incorrectly asserted that “leading environmental groups, such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and Earthjustice ... agree with DENR’s legal theory.”
In fact, NRDC and other members of the environmental and public health community stand united in support of the Clean Power Plan and believe it rests on a rock-solid legal foundation.
The U.S. Supreme Court has already determined that the Clean Air Act authorizes EPA “to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.” And because clean energy is one of the most effective ways to regulate power plant emissions, Congress, EPA and state regulators have included clean energy goals in pollution control programs for decades.
The Clean Power Plan builds upon this long line of precedent. Rather than tying the DENR’s hands through legislation, van der Vaart should join Cooper and all stakeholders to craft a state plan that builds on proven strategies for curbing power plant pollution, cutting electricity bills and expanding on North Carolina’s national clean energy leadership.
Luis G. Martinez
Senior attorney, director, Southeast Energy