Merkley Testifies at EPA Hearing, Calls for Action on Clean Power Plan

WASHINGTON, DC—Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley testified before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today in support of the most significant action ever taken to combat carbon pollution in the United States, the Clean Power Plan.

“Carbon pollution is taking a big toll on our natural resources, and the impacts are growing,” Merkley said. “The Clean Power Plan will not only save jobs in our farming, fishing and forestry sectors, but invest in hundreds of thousands of jobs in the clean energy economy.”

The EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which lays out a flexible approach to limit carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants, would reduce carbon emissions by roughly 30 percent by the year 2030, tapping clean energy alternatives like solar and wind energy.

In his testimony before the EPA, Sen. Merkley focused on the impacts of carbon pollution on farming, fishing and forests being seen across Oregon today.

“You have to look no further than the wildfires burning in Oregon today to see how bad this problem is,” he said.

Sen. Merkley also discussed the impact of pine beetles on our forests, the decrease of the snowpack on our farmers who depend on irrigation, and the more acidic Pacific Ocean on Oregon’s oyster farmers.

Outside of Washington, EPA hearings on the Clean Power Plan will take place in Atlanta, Denver, and Pittsburgh. The EPA’s comment period will last until October 16, 2014.