The Republican Attorneys General Association is meeting this weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona for its fall meeting and Americans United for Change (AUFC) is calling on its members to stop doing polluters’ dirty work. Rather, AUFC is encouraging Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and others to embrace the economic and health benefits of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP).
Several weeks ago AUFC released a video designed to expose dirty energy’s influence in the states that joined the lawsuits against the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The video claims that Republican Attorneys Generals who signed on have received more than $2.4 million from the dirty energy sector in the last two election cycles. AUFC says that while the court of public opinion acknowledges climate change, big polluters are hoping to win in the court of law. However, precedent shows otherwise; the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld EPA’s authority to take action to limit carbon pollution three times.
AUFC cites the CPP will save American’s money on their energy bills, lower health costs for asthma, lung cancer and other air pollution-related diseases and lead to 250,000 new jobs.
Brad Woodhouse, president, AUFC said, “Some might call it a coincidence that the Republicans Attorneys General who’ve taken tens of thousands of dollars from dirty energy interests are the same ones filing lawsuits against the Clean Power Plan, but I’d call it a serious conflict of interest and a breach of the public trust. When a state Attorney General chooses to serve as part of dirty energy’s unofficial defense team, who is left looking out for the public interests? The American people did not vote for a corporate takeover of Congress – but that’s exactly what they’re getting. Nearly half of all Americans live in areas where the air is unsafe to breathe, making the Clean Power Plan a breathe of fresh air for communities across the country. If you’re a public servant standing in the way of that, maybe it’s time to consider a clean break from your dirty energy friends.
“Clean Power Plan opponents claim they’re suing over jobs while ignoring evidence that the standards will actually put a quarter million Americans to work,” Woodhouse continued. “It’s the same old Chicken Little routine. Polluters used to warn that government efforts to combat acid rain would destroy business, and of course it didn’t. The EPA has given states a huge amount of flexibility to come up with carbon-reduction plans that suit them best and the majority of states are already more than halfway toward meeting their 2022 emission goals under the Clean Power Plan. The facts just aren’t on the side of those trying to exonerate big energy giants like Koch industries for playing a leading role in climate change.
“The jury is in. Climate change is real, man-made, and must be addressed immediately as far as the majority of Americans, the scientific community, and many national security leaders are concerned. 2014 was the hottest year in recorded history and the 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998. It’s happening right before our eyes, whether it’s rising sea levels or out-of-control forest fires resulting from heat waves and longer periods of drought.” Woodhouse concluded, “We’re seeing more frequent and more intense tornadoes and storms like Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina. Future generations will not look back kindly on those who saw the consequences of climate change get worse each year and yet stood in the way of any and all efforts to do something about it out of fear some oil company’s stock might drop a fraction of a point.”