Utilities Board Chairman Andy Pico
is not a climate-change denier, but rather doesn't believe global warming is caused by humans. He tells via text: "The degree of climate change is questionable and the modeled predictions have failed to occur as predicted. There is a substantial body of published, peer-reviewed scientific evidence to indicate a lot of natural climate shifts in the past and predicted shifts in the future."
————————ORIGINAL POST WED., FEB. 10, 2016, 4:39 P.M.———————————————-
Word that the U.S. Supreme Court decided to stay implementation of the EPA's Clean Power Plan triggered commentary from both sides of the debate.
First, Colorado Springs Utilities
Board Chair Andy Pico, a climate change denier, hailed the decision.
"I have been gravely concerned that the Clean Power Plan is based on a faulty scientific premise, and is avoiding the proper legislative path by being imposed through regulatory overreach," Pico told the Independent
via email. "I am encouraged to see the court issue the stay based on the later point."
Pico is in a prime position to make decisions regarding use of fossil fuels, from which the city gets two-thirds or more of its power.
Agreeing with Pico but for a different reason was the IBEW. From its release:
“International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers President Lonnie R. Stephenson issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to halt the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new regulations on carbon emissions:
“The Supreme Court made the right decision in freezing the implementation of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. We have said from the beginning that the agency shouldn’t be involved in formulating energy policy, but that is exactly what it’s been doing under these hastily thought out regulations on power plants and carbon emissions.
“The problem of human-made climate change is real, but these rules would have unnecessarily disrupted our power grid and cost thousands of good jobs – two things our economy can’t afford. All while having a minimal impact on global carbon emissions, putting the reliability of our power supply at great risk.
“That is why we joined with 27 states, several utilities and two other labor unions in challenging the regulations. The job of formulating energy policy belongs to Congress and Congress alone. As a nation, we desperately need leaders from both parties to step up to the plate and craft a balanced but comprehensive plan to combat global warming, increase the production of non-carbon emitting power sources like wind, solar and nuclear and increase grid reliability.
“As a union representing 725,000 energy professionals across North America, we stand ready to work with elected officials, industry leaders and regulatory agencies to make it happen.”
But the U.S. Conference of Mayors took a different stance.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is disappointed with the Supreme Court's decision to stay the implementation of EPA's Clean Power Plan. This is a surprising ruling given the fact that the court earlier ruled that greenhouse gas emissions are considered an air pollutant and therefore subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act. More importantly, this is disappointing to the thousands of cities that are already doing their part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and were looking to the utilities to become partners in the fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Finally, not surprisingly, Environment Colorado called the decision "a major blow" to Obama's plan to address climate change. Its release:
WASHINGTON, D.C. –The Supreme Court delivered a major blow to the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s plan to tackle climate change today, announcing it will put the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan on hold while it hears lawsuits from polluters and their allies in state government who want to kill the rule. Kim Stevens, state director of Environment Colorado, issued this statement:
“While this decision is a grave disappointment, it does not overturn the Clean Power Plan. Instead the ruling pauses the plan while a lower court considers briefs and arguments on an expedited schedule. The Supreme Court has already upheld the EPA’s authority to limit carbon pollution from power plants under the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Power Plan is widely expected to prevail in the courts.
“The Clean Power Plan is the largest step the U.S. has ever taken to tackle global warming pollution, and is supported by nearly three-quarters of all Americans, including mayors, faith leaders, small businesses, and public health professionals.
“This decision is a huge loss for our kids’ future and for all Americans who care about the health of our planet, and a huge win for the polluters and the deniers. That said, I am confident this is only a temporary setback — ultimately the science, the majority will, and bold climate action will win the day.”