Commentary: Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), ranking member on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee overseeing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget, issued the following statement after EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the Trump administration’s proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan and replace it with a new rule that will lead to hundreds more premature deaths and hospitalizations from increased toxic air pollution:
“Yet again, the Trump administration has prioritized polluters over people by repealing the Clean Power Plan in an egregious giveaway to big corporations. This is all part of a large-scale effort by this administration to systematically dismantle our nation’s best efforts to combat climate change, curb pollution, and embrace a clean energy economy. Now, with this latest move, the administration has turned its back on the American public, jeopardizing our health, safety, and way of life – all in service of padding the pockets of big polluters.
“The EPA should be leading the charge in the fight against climate change. Instead, President Trump and Andrew Wheeler are more invested in doing the bidding of special interests -- at the expense of the public interest.
“America can no longer afford inaction on climate change. In New Mexico, which is right in the bull’s eye of the climate crisis, the costs will be particularly devastating – and we will all continue to pay the price in the form of polluted air, rising temperatures, more frequent droughts, and increasingly severe wildfires.
“Now, it falls to the American public to fight back and do our part to make up for the mistakes of this administration. The Southwest is rich in renewable resources like solar and wind, and New Mexico has the potential to be at the epicenter of America’s clean energy economy. It’s imperative that states, elected officials, local communities, and the broader business community step up and come together to build a better future and safeguard the future of our planet.”