On August 3, President Obama took an important step in addressing climate change and promoting clean energy by announcing the Clean Power Plan. President Obama’s Clean Power Plan is the strongest action ever taken by the United States to fight climate change. I look forward to President Obama’s visit to Nevada later this month to speak at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas on August 24, 2015 and stand firm in my support of the Clean Power Plan because it is the right strategy to protect our future.

The Clean Power Plan will reduce the dangerous amounts of carbon pollution being pumped into the atmosphere. By reducing pollution, the Clean Power Plan will yield significant public health benefits for our nation.

As the plan is implemented, we will see even more investment in clean, renewable energy, which is not only good for the planet and our health – it’s good for the economy. The Clean Power Plan will boost renewable energy by 30 percent over the next 15 years, creating tens of thousands of jobs and lowering energy costs for American families. President Obama’s plan encourages programs and incentives to make American homes more efficient, lowering consumers’ utility bills. Under the Clean Energy Incentive Program, a jumpstart in new jobs is expected from construction and installation of renewable energy and efficiency. This will incentivize new clean energy development and job creation before the new carbon standards even go into effect.

It has been disappointing, but not surprising, to see Republicans’ knee-jerk opposition to addressing climate change. It is all-the-more frustrating because they have no plan of their own. Republicans are afraid to acknowledge that climate change is a problem. Climate change is a serious problem that poses a threat to the future of our planet.

Carbon pollution has many devastating effects on our environment as well as the health and well-being of Americans. Pollution from burning fossil fuels disproportionately affects low-income people and families of color. Exposure to air pollution can aggravate preexisting health problems like as asthma.

Consider these facts:

  • Minority and lower-income Americans are far more likely to live near coal-fired power plants
  • African American children have an 80 percent higher rate of asthma and are roughly three times more likely to die from asthma than their white peers
  • Roughly half of Latinos live in areas that frequently violate clean air rules
  • Hispanic children are 40 percent more likely to die from asthma than non-Hispanic whites.

In Nevada, for a half century, the Moapa Band of Paiutes Indians suffered the health effects of living next door to the dirty Reid-Gardner coal plant. Thankfully, today the plant is being decommissioned and solar is being built on the tribe’s reservation.

President Obama put it best yesterday: “If you care about low income, minority communities, try protecting the air they breathe.” And that’s exactly what the President’s plan will do.  It will clean the air we breathe, help curb health care costs and improve the quality of life for all Americans.

The Clean Power Plan is good for this nation. It is the strongest action we can take today to ensure a cleaner, healthier tomorrow for our children and our grandchildren. It’s undeniably good for Nevada, where investment in clean energy has reached $6 billion.

Over the past decade our clean energy infrastructure has expanded substantially, bringing good paying jobs and new industries to Nevada. There could be no better place for President Obama to begin a dialogue with the nation about the Clean Power Plan. I look forward to President Obama’s visit to Nevada later this month and stand firm in my support of the Clean Power Plan because it is the right strategy to protect our future.

To learn more about my work in the Senate on behalf of Nevadans or to contact me, please visit reid.senate.gov, sign up for my e-newsletter, The Reid Report, or connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.


U.S. Senator for Nevada