Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, joined by Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island; Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon; Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York; Cory Booker, D-New Jersey; Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts; Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois; and Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, in sending a letter, submitted as a public comment, to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt voicing strong opposition to EPA’s proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan.

“We strongly oppose the Environmental Protection Agency’s October 7, 2017, proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan is a critical part of our national efforts to mitigate climate change. It was appropriately developed under EPA’s Clean Air Act authority. Rescinding the Clean Power Plan ignores scientific evidence on the risks of climate change and puts generations of Americans at grave health and economic risk. EPA is considering a replacement for the Clean Power Plan that will increase traditional air pollution emissions — further endangering Americans’ health. Your mission is to protect the American people from environmental risks like climate change, which is why we request that the Clean Power Plan remains in place,” wrote the lawmakers.

“Rather than scrapping forward-looking standards, we should be looking at ways to continue to drive American innovation toward a clean energy future. America should be a global leader in this new energy revolution, not a laggard. We believe the Clean Power Plan — with its long-term certainty and flexible structure — is the federal policy that moves us in the right direction and fulfills the agency’s legal and scientific obligations to address climate pollution. The Clean Power Plan should stay intact and be allowed to join the ranks of the Acid Rain program and Cross-State Air Pollution program as yet another Clean Air Act success story,” wrote the lawmakers.

Finalized in 2015 by the Barack Obama Administration, the Clean Power Plan aims to reduce carbon pollution from power plants by 32 percent from 2005 levels — or 870 million tons — by 2030. The plan improves air quality, delivers widespread health benefits and reduces home electricity bills, according to the EPA. In October 2017, EPA announced that it would begin the process of repealing the Clean Power Plan.

In their letter, the senators asked that these remarks be added to the formal public comment docket, which closed April 26.

The text of the letter is available at bit.ly/2KfuRVL.