Governor Carney, Congressional Delegation Oppose Trump Administration on Clean Air Ruling

WILMINGTON, Del.Governor John Carney, U.S. Senator Tom Carper, U.S. Senator Chris Coons, and U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester issued the following statements on the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to deny a petition by Delaware and seven other northeastern states to expand the Ozone Transport Region (OTR) to limit air pollution. The petition asked the EPA to add eight additional states to the OTR, along with portions of Virginia. The petition was based on a provision in the Clean Air Act designed to hold states accountable for cross-border air pollution.

“Our air quality is significantly impacted by pollution traveling downwind from other states, and we sought, in this petition, to work with neighbor states to equitably address that pollution and its effects on Delaware,” said Governor Carney. “Delawareans deserve clean air and, simply put, this disappointing decision by the EPA to deny expansion of the Ozone Transport Region will limit our ability to deliver on that promise. The federal government, through the EPA, must act to curb air pollution traveling across state borders, and we will continue to take action that will underscore that point to the Trump Administration.”

“It is a measurable fact that over 90 percent of Delaware’s air pollution comes from upwind states. EPA’s decision to deny expansion of the Ozone Transport Region means it will be even harder for Delaware to hold its neighbors accountable for the air pollution coming across our borders,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper. “Since taking the reins at EPA, Scott Pruitt has continually said the states know best when it comes to cleaning up their air and water. But this decision flies in the face of that talking point, denying our reasonable request to work with our neighbors to address ozone pollution. When it comes to protecting Delawareans from other states’ pollution, EPA hasn’t done its job and now, it’s not even allowing states to work together to pick up the slack.”

“I am disappointed that EPA chose to deny this petition to expand the OTR,” said U.S. Senator Chris Coons. “Delaware air quality depends heavily on the behavior of our neighbors, and unfortunately we are the recipients of cross-border pollution from states outside the OTR that contribute to high ozone levels in Delaware. I hope that EPA will take actions soon to demonstrate that they are working to address ozone transport.”

“By denying the petition to expand the Ozone Transport Region, the EPA is making it more difficult for Delaware to work with its neighbors on ozone transport and improved air quality,” said U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester. “Given the significant impact of air pollution in Delaware that originates in other states, it’s crucial that EPA work with regional stakeholders in a coordinated and fair manner to deliver tangible action that is sorely needed.”



Governor Carney’s Statement on Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) Announcement on Emission Reductions

RGGI announced plan to continue emissions reduction program through 2030; reductions will help meet U.S. Climate Alliance goal

WILMINGTON, Del.On Wednesday, the nine northeast states that comprise the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) announced their intent to continue this successful emissions reduction program through 2030. The RGGI states, including Delaware, also announced improvements to the program that will begin in 2021; these improvements will serve to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the region from the electricity sector by an additional 30 percent between 2021 and 2030. The additional reductions in emissions will help Delaware meet the goals of the U.S. Climate Alliance, which Delaware joined in June to uphold the goals of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change. Governor Carney issued the following statement on Wednesday’s RGGI announcement.

“In the absence of federal leadership on climate change, RGGI is a critically important tool for ensuring real reductions in planet-warming greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide,” said Governor Carney. “I am pleased that the nine RGGI states came together to agree to an emissions cap that will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by an additional 30 percent by 2030. RGGI is not only a national model, but a global model for collaboration on reducing harmful greenhouse gases while growing the economy and protecting public health. This will also help us meet the goals of the U.S. Climate Alliance, and we are proud to stand by the 13 other states providing necessary leadership on the issue of climate change.”


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Governor Carney to Trump Administration: No Drilling in the Atlantic

Governor opposed oil and gas leasing in federal waters off Delaware, or elsewhere in Atlantic

WILMINGTON, Del.In a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Governor John Carney opposed drilling for oil and gas in federal waters off the coast of Delaware, or elsewhere in the Atlantic. President Trump in April issued an executive order to review restrictions on offshore drilling imposed by the Obama Administration. The following are excerpts from Governor Carney’s letter last week to Secretary Zinke:

“Delawareans rely upon and enjoy our abundant coastal resources. Over 60,000 jobs directly or indirectly support the fishing, tourism and recreation sectors. Coast-related activities contribute almost $7 billion in economic production to the state. According to a 2012 analysis performed by the Delaware Sea Grant, more than 10 percent of the state’s total employment, taxes and production value can be attributed to coastal related activities. Preserving the coastal environment is essential to Delaware’s economic well-being, as well as vital to maintaining a high quality of life for its residents. The majority of coastal residents perceive offshore oil and gas exploration as a threat to their communities and livelihoods.”

“We as a nation share the responsibility to ensure that energy decisions do not exacerbate the problems associated with climate change that are already being witnessed. The State of Delaware stands firm in its commitment to alternative energy development, and has prioritized working with neighboring states to develop a comprehensive strategy that will maximize the environmental and economic development benefits of adopting renewable energy. As such, I am opposed to any oil and gas leasing in federal waters offshore of Delaware, or elsewhere in the Atlantic.”

Download Governor Carney’s letter to Secretary Zinke here.


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Governor Carney’s Statement on President Trump’s Order to Review Offshore Drilling Restrictions

Delaware Joins U.S. Climate Alliance to Uphold Goals of Paris Agreement

Governor Carney pledges support in fight against climate change

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney announced on Monday that Delaware has joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of states committed to upholding the Paris Agreement to combat climate change, after President Trump announced last week that he would withdraw the U.S. from the agreement. The Climate Alliance now includes 13 members.

“Delaware is the country’s lowest-lying state and with 381 miles of coastline, climate change is a very real threat to our future,” said Governor Carney. “As sea levels rise, more than 17,000 Delaware homes, nearly 500 miles of roadway and thousands of acres of wildlife habitat including our critical wetlands are at risk of permanent inundation. Rising average temperatures and an increase in extreme weather events also pose health risks to Delawareans, and threaten our economy. The U.S. should lead in the global fight against climate change. Delaware is proud to join this coalition of states providing that necessary leadership.”

The Paris Agreement called for the U.S. to achieve a 26-28 percent reduction of emissions, from 2005 levels, by 2025. Delaware’s continued commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to clean energy also will provide economic opportunity for Delawareans, and offer significant public health and environmental benefits.

Delaware’s greenhouse gases come from three primary sources: energy production, transportation, and industry. The state is working to reduce emissions in a number of ways, including through continued participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a nine-state program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Delaware also has set renewable energy targets and increased energy efficiency with building codes, weatherization and other voluntary programs.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires action at all levels – from people using less energy and driving fuel efficient cars, to the government establishing national pollutant standards,” said Shawn Garvin, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. “We are proud of the progress the state has made and programs that help Delawareans drive cleaner cars and improve energy efficiency in homes and businesses. There is still much work to be done to reduce Delaware’s share of global greenhouse gas emissions, and I look forward to working with our sister states through the US Climate Alliance to meet Delaware’s pledge for the Paris Agreement.”

In the transportation sector, the state has incentivized the transition to cleaner fuels and electric vehicles, and now has a statewide network of charging stations.

“As we look to the future, it is imperative that we improve transportation resiliency to adapt to the effects of a changing climate. Incorporating the impact of climate change into our project planning and development, and adding more alternative fuel vehicles to our public transportation fleet each year are just two examples of how DelDOT is responding, and we thank Governor Carney for his leadership and commitment to this effort,” said Jennifer Cohan, Secretary of Transportation.