The U.S. Chamber of Commerce acknowledges that human activities are contributing to climate change, but feels that the Obama-era Clean Power plan was not an effective way to address that. The American Public Health Association contends that the EPA’s just announced proposed replacement for the Clean Power Plan – the Affordable Clean Energy rule (ACE) – is “an attack on public health.”

Those organizations are just two of the entities weighing in on the ACE rule announced this week by the EPA.

Here are the statements issued by each group:

From Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute:

“The Chamber believes that the global climate is changing, and that human activities contribute to those changes. At the same time, the Chamber has long maintained that there is a better way to address carbon dioxide emissions than the Clean Power Plan regulation, which was halted by the Supreme Court in 2016. Today’s announcement is an important step toward a more collaborative process that fits within EPA’s statutory authority and will result in achievable progress through more practical, state-driven programs. This revised approach will help continue the trend of lower electric power sector emissions while preserving America’s energy edge and respecting environmental law. We look forward to reviewing the proposal in detail and actively participating in the regulatory process.”

From Georges Benjamin, MD, Executive Director, American Public Health Association

"Three years ago, APHA strongly supported the Clean Power Plan, a bold strategy backed by science to reduce carbon pollution and protect Americans’ health. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement today that it will roll back and replace the Clean Power Plan with the Affordable Clean Energy Rule is an attack on public health. The proposed rule will increase air pollution and threatens to reverse the significant health benefits we expected from the Clean Power Plan. The rule will harm and kill Americans. 

"The costs of this plan are far too high when it comes to our health. The fine print acknowledges that it would result in up to 1,400 premature deaths annually. The plan’s Regulatory Impact Analysis quantifies a host of other health effects, including exacerbated asthma, cardiovascular hospital admissions, upper and lower respiratory symptoms, lost work days, school absence days and more. 

"APHA strongly opposes this rule. It will weaken oversight by allowing states to set their own, less comprehensive regulations for power plants. It would also give states the option to opt out of regulations on power plant emissions. 

"Robust power plant emission regulations are one of our best tools to address climate change and protect clean air. The EPA’s proposal to diminish these protections threatens the health of all Americans. Coal-fired power plants are the leading contributor to climate change and are responsible for the largest source of carbon emissions in the U.S. 

"What’s more, this rule comes on the heels of other environmental deregulations, including the Trump administration’s decision to roll back fuel economy standards for American automakers. It’s clear that for this administration, industry interests come before public health and American lives."