Statement by Timothy Wirth, President, United Nations Foundation

On News Reports That Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) Will Introduce Legislation Today To Impose A Two-Year Moratorium On The Environmental Protection Agency's Ability To Regulate Greenhouse Gases From Power Plants And Other Stationary Emitters.

Washington, D.C.

March 4, 2010


Megan Rabbitt

“Preempting the EPA has been the number one objective of the coal industry ever since Congress started to address climate and energy legislation.  Taking away or suspending their authority would set a dangerous precedent for environmental protection in the United States.

“President Obama has spoken out clearly in support of legislation to combat climate change and make the clean energy economy a reality.  He should make it clear that he will veto any legislation that preempts the EPA’s authority.

“The authority provided by the Clean Air Act is a powerful tool, and the President must demonstrate his willingness to use it. Lisa Jackson, the Administrator of the EPA, has initiated a careful, step-by-step approach to regulate large-scale sources of carbon pollution. This strategic and reasonable process should be sustained as long as Congress continues to be unable or unwilling to legislate on this urgent issue.

“The coal industry has had its day, and now we must together look to the future and move as rapidly as possible toward a clean, low-carbon economy. The steps must include robust energy efficiency programs, expanded renewables and increased use of natural gas as a cleaner, bridge fuel.”