Senator Collins Statement Following Announcement Of Clean Power Plan

     WASHINGTON, D.C. – After a briefing on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) from White House officials on Sunday and President Obama’s introduction of the regulations today, Senator Collins released the following statement:
      “The plan issued by President Obama today appears to be more flexible than was originally proposed, providing states with more time to submit plans and to achieve compliance with the requirements to reduce their carbon pollution from power plants.
      “I am encouraged to learn that the emissions targets for Maine will not be as stringent as was originally proposed, in recognition of the fact that Maine has already made substantial progress in reducing carbon emissions, increasing energy efficiency, spurring the adoption of clean energy technologies, and improving air quality and public health, including through the State’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). By contrast, the EPA’s original proposal would have unfairly disadvantaged and asked more of states that took action early than it would have from states that had not yet acted to reduce their emissions. The regulations released today represent a considerable improvement in this regard. 
      “In addition, biomass energy is a sustainable, responsible, renewable, and economically significant energy source. Many states, including Maine, are relying on renewable biomass to meet their renewable energy goals. While I understand that the Clean Power Plan will allow for the use of certain biomass as a compliance tool, I want to ensure that it appropriately recognizes the carbon benefits of forest bioenergy in a way that helps states, mills, and the forest products industry and recognizes the carbon neutrality of wood. Regulatory clarity is needed so that biomass markets can thrive and our nation can reap the benefits of this important energy source, a message that was clearly stated in a bipartisan letter that I recently sent to the EPA, DOE, and USDA that was signed by 45 of my colleagues.
      “Today’s release of the first-ever standards that address carbon pollution from power plants is significant, and after the details of the plan and the statewide goals are released for Maine, I look forward to reviewing the specifics and to hearing feedback from Maine regulators on how EPA has addressed their concerns in the final rule. 
      “Climate change is a significant risk that could threaten Maine’s working forests, fishing, agricultural industries, as well as tourism and recreation. Greenhouse gasses are also a clear threat to our health. I will work to support responsible and realistic regulations to reduce carbon pollution.”